This is a rush transcript from "The Big Story With John Gibson," August 22, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
JOHN GIBSON, "BIG STORY" HOST: The "Big Crime": New developments in the Newark, New Jersey, schoolyard massacre. A radio report says the female victim who was killed along with two others was sexually assaulted and slashed with a machete before she was lined up against the wall and executed with a bullet to the head. The report also says the surviving victim was able to fight off a sexual assault before the attacker gave up and just shot her.
Now remember, one of the suspects should have been in jail on the night of the killings, but he was let out because no one discovered that he was in the country illegal. That's because Newark, New Jersey, is a sanctuary city and refuses to question residents and people taken into custody about their immigration status. On top of that, the sixth and final suspect from Honduras admitted to a judge yesterday he is also an illegal immigrant. FOX's Bill O'Reilly is now calling for relatives of the victims to sue the city for negligence. Does Newark share the blame for the deaths of these good kids?
With me now is WABC radio talk show host Monica Crowley. Is Newark to blame?
MONICA CROWLEY, WABC RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: You know, for a country that prides itself on common sense, the way we've handled the illegal immigration problem in this country, sanctuary cities is the most insane, irresponsible, dangerous, nonsensical thing I have ever seen. And time and again we get situations like this, where an illegal immigrant, in this case now two illegal immigrants, commit these heinous crimes, mass murders or wreak havoc.
Like a couple of months ago in New York, John, we had a situation where illegal immigrants had piled into a house here in New York City, in one of the boroughs, and the house burned down and they all lost their lives. We are dealing with an out of control situation that our politicians refuse to touch because they've got political constituencies that they are trying to court and because they think it's a hot potato that they can get on either side of.
My view is that this is such an urgent, dangerous situation, in terms of national security, border security and basic fairness and security of the people of this country, that this whole thing should be taken out of the political process.
GIBSON: What went wrong in Newark? Did the sanctuary city there actually protect these MS-13 thugs so they could be free to commit these killings?
CROWLEY: Absolutely. They protected them by the simple fact that Newark, New Jersey, was and still is, even after these crimes, a sanctuary city, meaning that law enforcement is not required when they bring somebody in to ask them...
GIBSON: Not even allowed.
CROWLEY: Exactly. To ask them about their citizenship status or their immigration status, not allowed to ask them.
GIBSON: Now this, you know, this machete part of the story, this story that these victims were cut up and slashed is characteristic and is a signature of the MS-13 gang. One of the guys is going back to El Salvador, where MS-13 came from. The other was from Honduras, which is associated. It's clear that Newark has this MS-13 problem, probably the most vicious gang in America. If Newark were to lift its sanctuary city status, would it give Newark much help to go, within its city limits, find people that look like they might be those gang members and get them out of the country?
CROWLEY: This is what they should have been doing all along. Of course they should be doing it. Now it's too late for those three victims in Newark, but, of course, this is what they should be doing.
And on top of that, this particular gang that you're talking about does have ties to the Middle East, does have ties to Islamic terror. I mean, the 9/11 Commission was talking about the 9/11 hijackers, each and every one of them violated immigration laws in this country before they committed the monstrous acts against this country. We are talking about not just gangs, but terrorists and the run-of-the-mill criminals who are killing U.S. citizens.
GIBSON: Why won't Cory Booker do anything about it?
CROWLEY: Because, like I said, it is a hot potato and particularly if you are a Democrat, you want that constituency, so you don't want to alienate them.
GIBSON: But he's thought to be a good guy. So why is Cory Booker afraid to tackle this problem?
CROWLEY: You know what? He's thought to be a good guy in the way he's handled this so far. But even in his comments about our immigration policies, Newark's sanctuary city policies, he only goes right up to the edge and doesn't go any further, doesn't go to the extent that you and I are talking about, John, and that is a shame because Newark is not the only city in this country that is suffering from this kind of gross negligence.
GIBSON: We've asked Cory Booker repeatedly to come on this show and maybe one day he will. WABC radio talk show host Monica Crowley, good to see you.
CROWLEY: You too, John. Thanks.
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