Transcript: Immigration Battle Threatens to Split GOP

This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," March 27, 2006, that was edited for clarity.

DAVID ASMAN, GUEST HOST: My next guest, a staunch supporter of almost every one of President Bush's legislative goals — every one — except the guest-worker program for illegal immigrants.

With us now, Arizona Congressman J.D. Hayworth.

So, Congressman, what's Bush doing wrong?

REP. J.D. HAYWORTH, R-ARIZ.: Well, quite frankly, the problem has come, as I point out in my book "Whatever It Takes," David, that, when the president fails to make a distinction between legal and illegal immigration, that is the very nature of the problem.

And all the people talking about excusing law-breaking are essentially the same as those who make the argument about drug abuse and prostitution: "We can't do anything about it, so, we might as well legalize it."

The fact is, that is the wrong prescription for the wrong reasons, at a very wrong time in our history, when our nation is at war.

ASMAN: Now, Congressman, how do you get rid of these illegal immigrants, as you have said you want to do?

HAYWORTH: Well, understand that a business decision, to use the business vernacular, is relocation.

Since people relocated to the United States, in flagrant disregard of our law, it's important that we turn off the economic magnet. Those employers who knowingly and willingly hire illegals, those benefits going to illegals, you turn off that magnet, and people with self-deport. They will relocate back to their home country.

ASMAN: You say turn off the magnet. I guess you mean by threatening them with jail, right?

HAYWORTH: Well, that is one possibility, but, quite frankly — I will tell you this quite candidly, David. A couple of CEOs doing a perp walk because they knowingly hire illegals would have an incredible effect, in terms of what goes on here. Right now, we are failing to enforce the law.

ASMAN: But, Congressman, it's not just the CEOs. It's mothers hiring illegals as maids. It's guys who have small farm plots hiring illegals to pick the fruit. These aren't big CEO corporate criminals we're talking about.

HAYWORTH: Well, look, introspection can take place at every level.

The bottom line is this. Since the last amnesty in 1986, when President Reagan signed the Simpson-Mazzoli Act, he said, tough new sanctions on business would stem the flow of illegal aliens. Now, that might have been President Reagan's intent. That was not the result. Successive administrations have failed to enforce the law. And now it is about to bite the American people in the derriere, not to mention what is going on in terms of our national security.

ASMAN: Congressman, we got to leave it at that. We thank you for coming, a big supporter of President Bush, except on this issue.

Congressman, thanks a million.

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