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Border Patrol Snitching on Minutemen?

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," May 9, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

Watch "The O'Reilly Factor" weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET and listen to the "Radio Factor!"

BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Now for the top story tonight, charges the U.S. Border Patrol is alerting Mexican authorities about the movements of the Minutemen protesters along the southern border. According to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Border Patrol spokesman Mario Martinez has confirmed the situation. Martinez and other U.S. government officials would not appear with us this evening. But joining us now from Las Vegas is Juan Hernandez, author of the book, "The New American Pioneers: Why Are We Afraid of Mexican Immigrants?" You're smiling on there. I'm not afraid of Mexican immigrants. I'm not afraid, you know, you're my compadre. I think it's why — I'm not going to tell you how you write your book. But the big issue here is that the American government is telling the Mexican government about the whereabouts of American protesters. And you think this is OK?

JUAN HERNANDEZ, AUTHOR, "NEW AMERICAN PIONEERS": Well, I think that it's wonderful that the United States and Mexico are working together. Many of us have been calling for this for a long, long time. The way to have a secure border is to work with Mexico, with our second most important partner. I mean, if we want a secure border, we should be thinking about how can we work better with Mexico.

O'REILLY: How are we working with them, because we have a few dozen protesters, the Minutemen, they are protesters and they want a secure border. So how does this benefit the U.S. government or the Mexican government by wasting everybody's time, telling the Mexican government where the protesters are?

HERNANDEZ: Well, the president of the United States has not called them protesters. He has called them vigilantes.

O'REILLY: What's your definition?

HERNANDEZ: Vigilante, well it's a group that is going out and taking in their own hands the laws of this land. I would say right now, we want the federal government — and Congress is debating right now what to do with these wonderful immigrants being documented. What I say is let's stop by the way the raids also. There are children who may lose their parents any moment that will be deported. Let's let Congress do their jobs.

O'REILLY: Let's just stay to the issue here. Now, you say they are taking the law into their own hands. There isn't any evidence the Minutemen have broken any laws. They sit in lounge chairs. They call the Border Patrol and say we have cited some people coming over here illegally. You know, the dictionary definition of vigilante is a group that suppresses and punishes crime, punishes. Minutemen don't punish crime. All they are doing is protesting the lax border by sitting there, getting media coverage, and telling the country that anybody can cross over any time they want. I don't consider that vigilante and I don't know why the U.S. government wants to even bother with the Minutemen. I'm not getting it.

HERNANDEZ: Well, they are instilling fear, my friend.

O'REILLY: Who's afraid of the Minutemen?

HERNANDEZ: Afraid of the immigrants — the article today that says we are risking our lives. If the United States, our government, tells Mexico that we are at risk, we could be killed. I mean these are wonderful people that are enriching our nation. They are in no way a threat to anyone. So instilling that kind of fear I think is not the right way to look at this.

O'REILLY: Mr. Hernandez, I mean you obviously don't know about the El Salvadoran gang, MS13.

HERNANDEZ: Oh sure I do.

O'REILLY: And the 10 percent of people incarcerated in California who are illegal aliens, have committed felonies. So don't give me the Shirley Temple look on this business because it's not true. Most illegal immigrants are good people, but there is a strain that's violent, and the chaos is hurting the country in general. But let's get back to the Minutemen. I'm not getting with all the problems the Border Patrol has in keeping out millions of people trying to get in here, why they are watching a bunch of people in lounge chairs with binoculars, and then calling the Mexicans and squealing on them. I'm not getting it. And you haven't explained it to me.

HERNANDEZ: Well, but, for some reason, they are instilling fear. They are getting — here we are you and I. But we're talking about this here on the show, my friend. And if they were not having an impact on this nation, the Minutemen, then we wouldn't be talking about this.

O'REILLY: The Minutemen have had an influence on the nation by drawing attention to the problem. I don't think the minutemen are instilling fear in anybody.

HERNANDEZ: Oh, yes, they are.

O'REILLY: Who?

HERNANDEZ: Many people look at them as being sort of Ku Klux Klan-ish type groups. And forgive me, but in the '50s and '60s people said the same things about other groups. Let me just put it from another point of view. There are many, many in this nation. There are pastors. And by the way, there are priests. By the way, this week there was a group of pastors that I met with, the Robert Morrises, the Jack Hayfords — who are Anglo pastors who are saying, you know what, maybe we do need to analyze this a little bit further. These are good people. Let's not be on the wrong side of history.

O'REILLY: You still haven't explained to me why the U.S. government wants to take the time to inform on the Minutemen by calling the Mexican authorities. I think it's a tremendous waste of the taxpayer time and money and the federal government should be ashamed of itself for dealing with that and avoiding the real problem, securing the border. But it's always a pleasure to speak with you, Mr. Hernandez. If you want to get a good idea of how Mr. Hernandez and others see this problem, read his book. It's very well written.

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