Geraldo Rivera, who established himself as a crusader for illegal immigrants, ventured in to The O’Reilly Factor to pick a fight with host Bill O’Reilly on the issue. First, Geraldo did concede that an illegal immigrant with a criminal record who murdered a Marine should have been deported. However, he quickly moved to defend the 11 million people currently breaking our country’s immigration laws.
He first called the recent raid at an Iowa meat packing plant "the biggest jive mast bust." Geraldo then insulted the American workers exclaiming, "Do you know why they’re working there? They’re almost exclusively illegal, because no citizen will take that crappy job." He then connected those who favor immigration enforcement with bigots and xenophobes calling them "nativists."
The one aspect of the story that was not discussed was that some of those illegal immigrants arrested were on identity theft charges. So Geraldo, how would you react if it was your identity that was stolen? The entire transcript is below.
Bill O’Reilly: "Thanks for staying with us. I'm Bill O'Reilly. In the 'Geraldo' segment this week, the crackdown on illegal immigrants and those that hire them and the shocking, shocking report about the Duke lacrosse rape case. And here he is, star of the syndicated program, 'Geraldo at Large,' Geraldo himself. You just heard this mother, and he, you know, and the lawyer and here's this Marine, and he comes back, and this guy kills her, you know, and Homeland Security knew that he had this sheet and nobody did anything. If you, if you were the father of that Marine, you'd do the same thing wouldn't you? I would have."
Geraldo Rivera: "Oh, definitely. But I want to say, I want to say a couple of things. I think it's very important for me to say it. Because if I won't say it, no one is going to say it. I feel terrible for that family and their loss and the two other victims of this Miguel Padilla who by all accounts is a terrible person. And he's sentenced to, to die now. His appeals will drag on for a while because of some complications, issues."
O’Reilly: "The Mexican government wants him back. You know all of that."
Rivera: "Well, the Mexican government, like many governments does not have the death penalty."
O’Reilly: "Death penalty, right."
Rivera: "But I want to say this as crystal clear as I possibly can. I feel sorry for every family of the over 16,000 murder victims in our country. This is not an issue of illegal immigration. This is an issue of a scum bag murderer who killed three people."
O’Reilly: "But it's more than that. You must see that. If you have a system that will not deport violent people when they shouldn't be here in the first place--"
Rivera: "I have no objection. If believe-"
O’Reilly: "If that's the story..."
Rivera: "I believe that..."
O’Reilly: "...the system is broken."
Rivera: "...once an illegal alien falls into the criminal justice system..."
O’Reilly: "Right, and they still let him go!"
Rivera: "...and does his time he has to be deported."
O’Reilly: "There was no time."
Rivera: "He has to get deported."
O’Reilly: "Right, there was no time though."
Rivera: "But still, he her beef-"
O’Reilly: "Two convictions."
Rivera: "Right, her beef is that he had these processes and they were misdemeanor convictions."
O’Reilly: "But they were violent convictions. They pled him down. They pled them down."
Rivera: "Her, her beef is that once he was in the criminal justice system then they should have referred him to immigration.
O’Reilly: "Booted him out, right."
Rivera: "On that I have no argument."
Rivera: "But that's not about the 11 million or more..."
O’Reilly: "No, but you have to-"
Rivera: "...illegal aliens in this country..."
O’Reilly: "Nobody is condemning-"
Rivera: "...like most meat workers, that is the biggest jive mass bust. I'm telling you, what they did to Swift and Company, I did a documentary in 19- in 2000, in the year 2000 on the Hispanic burgeoning population. I based, I did every one of those meat-packing plants. I went all through the heartland of this country. Everybody knew who worked at the Swift and Company."
O’Reilly: "Well, they have to start punishing them now."
Rivera: "And for the government to raid and to say they're raiding it because of some other criminal act. That is a bunch of baloney and they should be ashamed."
O’Reilly: "But wait a minute, they're starting to crackdown."
Rivera: "These guys, the people raiding the meat packing plants should have been going after the Miguel Padillas of the world, these violent people, and deporting them."
O’Reilly: "You've got to do it all. You've got to do it all."
Rivera: "You have got to regulate and normalize these people's existence. The fact that they could work at the Swift and Company plant- every church is a Spanish church in that town, every restaurant is a Spanish restaurant."
O’Reilly: "I'm not opposed, I'm not opposed to that on the back end."
Rivera: "They speak Spanish on the streets. Anyone who pretends they didn't know is a, is a hypocrite."
O’Reilly: "Listen, you have to do it all. You have to have figure out a way to normalize it."
Rivera: "You have to have a comprehensive immigration reform."
O’Reilly: "Stop with the comprehensive."
Rivera: "Why, why, why?
O’Reilly: "You've got to punish Swift and others who do it."
Rivera: "Should, should, Swift and Company close? The, they produce I don't know a huge percentage of our processed meat in this country. They closed for the day and I don't know when they're going to reopen. Who benefits from that? Who benefits from that? Some P.R. guy at ICE, who says..."
O’Reilly: "Who benefits from it?"
Rivera: "...'look at us'?"
O’Reilly: "It sends a message to other people-"
Rivera: "Do you feel safer that they closed Swift and Company because they're illegal aliens packaging your meat?"
O’Reilly: "Do I feel safer? You know what I feel safer about? That finally the federal government is looking at the border, is looking at the businesses, and I want them to start looking at that."
Rivera: "This is Iowa. This is Iowa."
O’Reilly: "It doesn't matter where it is. You've got to-"
Rivera: "These people have families, they have roots there-"
O’Reilly: "Everybody has families."
Rivera: "Do you what it's like to work in a meat packing plant? Do you know what it's like to kill those cows and to carve those steaks?"
O’Reilly: "Geez, I can't believe you. I can't believe you"
Rivera: "Do you know why they're working there? They're almost exclusively illegal, because no citizen will take that crappy job."
O’Reilly: "That's bull. That's bull."
Rivera: "It is not bull."
O’Reilly: "I don't believe that for a second."
Rivera: "Why do you think they're doing it?"
O’Reilly: "Because Mexico can't provide them with jobs. That's why."
Rivera: "The United States unemployment is four percent. Where are you going to find people to fill those plants? You can't."
O’Reilly: "If you can't then they come here legally."
Rivera: "The hypocrisy, the hypocrisy. Build your 700 foot wall for 700 billion."
O’Reilly: "Stop. I'll put you in charge.."
Rivera: "I should be."
O’Reilly: "...and you can be in charge of the guest worker program."
Rivera: "I should be. I should be.
O’Reilly: "If they can't fill the jobs, let them come here legally."
Rivera: "Miguel Padilla, he commits a crime, I'd throw his behind out of this country. These hard-working people deserve those jobs."
O’Reilly: "You are basically saying to every person south of the border, 'come on in here and come here anyway that you can. It's OK.'"
Rivera: "I'm basically saying to the minutemen and the nativists who are against these people, do you want this job?"
O’Reilly: "You can do that legally."
Rivera: "I'm going to give you $40,000 to cut off the heads of cows. Do you want that job?"
O’Reilly: "You can do that legally. You can set up a way for them to get that job."
Rivera: "Do you know why the union is fighting for them? Because they are the union. That's why the union is fighting for them."
O’Reilly: "That's why- I know that. They want them in as members."
Rivera: "Those people should have green cards. They are vital to the U.S. national security. No one else wants that job."
O’Reilly: "If it were your program this thing would never stop, and it's got to stop."