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Lou Dobbs on Budget Battle, Illegal Immigrant Families Collecting Welfare

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," April 7, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Impact" segment tonight: A new survey by the Center for Immigration Studies, a conservative group, says that 57 percent of immigrants in America, both legal and illegal, use at least one welfare program. Thirty-nine percent of people born in the USA use one or more welfare programs. The poll is exclusively made up of families with children. As far as illegal aliens are concerned, the Center estimates 71 percent are on welfare of some kind, as opposed to 52 percent of legal immigrants. Again, this involved families with children.

To analyze this, Fox Business anchor Lou Dobbs. Before we get to that, you saw Congressman Rangel and I shoot it out. He is basically saying to the American public it's these 87 new guys that won't compromise. Do you buy that?

LOU DOBBS, FOX BUSINESS HOST: Well, I think that there is some truth that those 87 new guys are giving the Republican Party spine. But this is a fundamental ideological conflict, Bill, as you know. The issue should be, in my opinion, the 2012 budget, but we're locked up on this 2011, which this president…

O'REILLY: Isn't Charles Rangel basically saying to the American public, "Look, we are being reasonable," the Democratic Party, but they are not. Is the Democratic Party being reasonable?

DOBBS: No more reasonable than the Republican Party. They are expressing their respective constituents.

O'REILLY: Is it fiscally responsible to not cut -- you know, $73 billion in cuts, that's not a lot.

DOBBS: Let me put it this way. President Obama has proposed $9 trillion in extra spending over the next decade. The Republicans have come forward with a plan to reduce spending by $6 trillion. There is a $15 trillion difference. That has to be resolved. Now we are looking at what is now behind closed doors, $7 billion in difference.

O'REILLY: They should be able to work that out.

DOBBS: That's less than 5/1,000 of a budget.

O'REILLY: So it's chump change now as opposed to down the road. I don't know why the posturing is going on. Is it all for show?

DOBBS: I think part of it is pure show and, imagine this, political theater in Washington, D.C.

O'REILLY: I still think it's going to get done, but we'll see.

On the illegal immigration front, you know, people are outraged. We're broke. We don't have any money. I'm paying a lot of taxes. Illegal aliens sneak in here, got their kids and they're on the welfare program. There isn't anything to stop them from being on the welfare program, is there?

DOBBS: Nothing at all, particularly when you have an administration, not specifically talking about the Bush administration but previous administration as well. There has been a calculated decision not to enforce immigration law. Therefore what you are watching are employers exploiting illegal labor and the taxpayer is paying for the support services.

O'REILLY: If you sneak in here illegally and you don't have proof of citizenship, you can still apply for welfare. Nobody checks it out, right?

DOBBS: You can apply for it. By the way, you can also get all the fraudulent documents you want, and many do.

O'REILLY: But do they even ask?

DOBBS: In some cases, yes. In some states are more rigorous than others. But in most cases, no.

O'REILLY: Show their phony Social Security card or whatever else they got.

DOBBS: The result is what you are seeing on this report. I have a problem with this. The only problem I have got with the citizen -- the Immigration Center on this study is that they don't break out individuals, as you have correctly pointed out. We have no research, hard data how many have individuals, families.

O'REILLY: They don't know how many there are. The cost has got to be, you know, close to $100 billion a year. It has to be if there are 20 million illegal aliens.

DOBBS: We know that in Florida, for example, the costs there of illegal immigration alone on the state and the welfare system is $5.5 billion a year.

O'REILLY: In one state.

DOBBS: In one state.

O'REILLY: Arizona has got higher?

DOBBS: And we have this problem across the country. The real issue here is why are our public policy leaders, our lawmakers, and our administration not enforcing laws? Because what they are doing is allowing a cost burden shift from the illegal employer to society at large. That is you, me and our fellow citizens are paying the taxes for the benefits that illegal employers won't pay for the wages they won't pay.

O'REILLY: Because this is mostly off-the-books cash, and they're not paying Social Security. They are not paying anything.

DOBBS: It is an underground economy.

O'REILLY: This isn't because illegal aliens refuse to work.

DOBBS: No, they do work.

O'REILLY: Most of them do work.

DOBBS: They work hard.

O'REILLY: But they earn so little that they have to supplement it by getting food stamps and things like that through the state governments in the states they live. All right, Lou. We have to get organized in this country. So much money is going out on stuff like this that shouldn't be happening.

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