Former CNN anchor Lou Dobbs had long been considered one of the most vocal anti-illegal immigration advocates on television and radio.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the former CNN anchor, pondering a run for the Senate or maybe even for President, is trying to wipe away his image as an enemy of Latino immigrants by positioning himself as a champion of the fast-growing ethnic bloc.
In an interview Friday, Dobbs told Spanish-language network Telemundo he now supports a plan to legalize millions of undocumented workers, despite the fact that he long called these programs an unfair "amnesty."
"Whatever you have thought of me in the past, I can tell you right now that I am one of your greatest friends and I mean for us to work together," he said in a live interview with Telemundo's Maria Celeste. "I hope that will begin with Maria and me and Telemundo and other media organizations and others in this national debate that we should turn into a solution rather than a continuing debate and factional contest."
Dobbs mentioned a possible legalization plan for the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S., saying "we need the ability to legalize illegal immigrants under certain conditions."
Advocates on the left and right side of the immigration debate seemed perplexed by the about-face of his stance on the issue.
Frank Sharry, who heads America's Voice, a group that advocates for legalizing undocumented immigrants, told the Journal that Dobbs's conversion isn't credible, given his history of opposing efforts to liberalize immigration policies.
Jim Gilchrist, founder of the Minuteman Project, which seeks strict border enforcement and opposes legalization, said he admired Mr. Dobbs and will "watch him for several months before drawing a conclusion."
Click here to connect to the Telemundo website where you can see video of the interview in English.