Despite strong voices on the other side of the issue at the network, like O'Reilly and Tucker Carlson, respected Latino leaders within the company, including Director of Fox News Latino Francisco Cortes, have moved the needle on the debate because they can explain how offensive the term is within the Hispanic community to those outside of it, Garcia says.
"You've got some very very big personalities at Fox and everybody knows who they are. A guy like Roger Ailes has to tread lightly. It's a contentious issue," Garcia said. "And when Frankie went to Roger Ailes and said, 'Look, we shouldn't use this word,' they gave him the latitude to change it, and I give Roger Ailes the credit for having the confidence in Frankie to get that done." Fox News declined to comment for this story.
Garcia believes that all companies will drop "illegal" if Hispanics are able to rise to positions of real power. After Sonia Sotomayor was elected to the Supreme Court, the court's rulings used "undocumented" for the first time to describe those in the country without authorization, Garcia noted.
When it comes to media organizations, Garcia says the problem stems from one place. "The AP is the main problem on this issue, because everybody uses them as an excuse. And on their board of 19, how many are Latinos?," Garcia asked. "Zero. Zero are Latino. Zero." The AP did not immediately respond to a request to confirm.
Unlike Fox News, the AP hasn't budged on the issue after external pressure because they have few Hispanics to push from inside, Garcia argues.
"The AP is like three monkeys on this," Garcia said. "I see no evil, I hear no evil, I speak no evil."