Tempers Flare as Gibby Goes Head-to-Head With Illegal Immigrant Activist

This is a rush transcript from "The Big Story With John Gibson," August 20, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

JOHN GIBSON, "BIG STORY" HOST: The "Big Update" on the "Big Issue." She fought the law and the law won. The illegal immigrant who became the poster woman for parents who are in this country illegally who have children who are, in fact, U.S. citizens, has finally been deported back to Mexico.

Thirty-two-year-old Elvira Arellano was arrested in L.A. yesterday after being holed up in a church in Chicago for one year. She was hiding all of that time from authorities who were trying to deport her. Arellano announced last week that she would finally leave the church to try to lobby U.S. lawmakers for change. That announcement led to her capture.

Her 8-year-old son, who is an American citizen, is now being taken care of by the pastor of her church. The reverend says the mother is in good spirits and is ready to continue her struggle against the immigration raids that break up families from the other side of the border.

Javier Rodriguez is one of the activists fighting for Arellano's cause. So, Javier, thanks for coming on.


GIBSON: Did she or you actually expect that after she was defiant of the immigration service for so long and made herself a public figure that she wouldn't be arrested and wouldn't be deported?

RODRIGUEZ: Well, John, she didn't blink an eye. She went with pride, dignity, and let me relate her story to your previous story. She is not related to "The Sopranos" or the Gottis or the Corleones, those criminals, nor to the No. 1 criminal in the eyes of the world, George Bush.

GIBSON: Oh come on, Javier. Stop.


GIBSON: Are you telling me I am supposed to ignore the law because you think she isn't as big a criminal as George Bush?

RODRIGUEZ: You're ignoring it with George Bush.


GIBSON: Get off it. Come on.

RODRIGUEZ: The international community — listen...


GIBSON: If you're going to make it about George Bush…

RODRIGUEZ: ...is condemning.

GIBSON: ...fabrication of immigration law, Javier. You're fabricating. Your party in the U.S. Congress could not get an immigration law together. Don't blame Bush. He was going to help her.

RODRIGUEZ: ...8 years old.

GIBSON: Oh, Javier. Get off it!


GIBSON: Get off it! You cannot even get your Democrats to pass an immigration law.

RODRIGUEZ: All she has done...

GIBSON: Javier, listen to me. Your Democrats who support her, why can they not get an immigration law passed?

RODRIGUEZ: John, what crime has she committed?

GIBSON: Javier, how come your Democrats can't get an immigration law passed?

RODRIGUEZ: Listen, in the eyes of the international community...

GIBSON: Answer that question. Why can't your Democrats get that immigration law passed?

RODRIGUEZ: Why can't? Because your extreme right-wing friends...

GIBSON: Excuse me, your Democrats voted against it, Javier.

RODRIGUEZ: Yes, some of them did. Some of them did.


RODRIGUEZ: Listen...

GIBSON: Because they recognized that she is an illegal.

RODRIGUEZ: No, no, that's not true. Listen, the extreme right...

GIBSON: Extreme right?

RODRIGUEZ: Wait a minute. Wait a minute.

GIBSON: Made your Democrats fold?

RODRIGUEZ: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. You said to answer your question. Your extreme right went after the moderate wing of the immigration movement.

GIBSON: And they...

RODRIGUEZ: Hold on. Hold on...

GIBSON: Must have a lot of pride in that, huh, Javier?

RODRIGUEZ: Hold on. Hold on. Most of us, 80 percent of us were against that bill, the one that was being debated, because it does not compare and it does not fit the international...

GIBSON: George Bush supported that bill.

RODRIGUEZ: Now you're going back to George Bush.

GIBSON: You condemned him. He supported that bill.

RODRIGUEZ: Well, listen. Listen, that bill won it — the president implied...

GIBSON: Why should she get an exception?

RODRIGUEZ: ...green card...

GIBSON: Why should she get an exception?

RODRIGUEZ: Hold on. Hold on. In 1986, all we had to do was wait one year. Now...

GIBSON: Javier, why should she get a mom exception?

RODRIGUEZ: ...a program that would make us...

GIBSON: Can you answer that one? Why should she get an exception to the law?

RODRIGUEZ: John, can you answer the other one?

GIBSON: You're here to answer the questions. Why should she get an exception to the law?

RODRIGUEZ: You answer this one. Fourteen years...


GIBSON: If the question is why should she get an exception to the law, my answer is she shouldn't.

RODRIGUEZ: And that's what she was fighting for, and that's why she's being deported. Because she was defying an unjust system, a broken system, just like many of the other issues, like the health system...


GIBSON: People like you put her up to it, Javier. Congratulations. She's now been deported. Hope you're proud of yourselves.

RODRIGUEZ: She'll be back.

GIBSON: Javier Rodriguez, one of the activists fighting for her cause.

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