Marine held in Mexican prison

Placing pressure on Mexico to release Sgt. Tahmooree


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," May 28, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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O'REILLY: "Personal Story" segment tonight, a U.S. Marine still in a Mexican prison after a hearing today. Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi made a wrong turn drove to Mexican customs, was promptly arrested for having three registered guns in his vehicle. He's been in prison for two months. It's completely bogus. The Sergeant simply made a mistake.

So we'll now apply some pressure on the Mexican government. We would like you to go to and sign this petition which we'll send to the Mexican Ambassador in Washington. "We, the undersigned are becoming increasingly concerned over the detention by Mexican authorities of Andrew Tahmooressi, a citizen of the United States, who has been held in jail in your country the past two months. Mr. Tahmooressi, a marine reservist who has served his nation honorably in two wars was arrested in Mexico after he mistakenly crossed the border check point near Tijuana on March 31st. Since then despite of all evidence that he entered Mexico by mistake the authorities in Mexico have not released him. This has created a hardship not only for the young man but also his family and friends.

Therefore in the interest of justice we ask the Mexican government to immediately grant Sergeant Tahmooressi clemency and expedite his quick return to the United States of America."

We will keep the petition drive open on until the end of the week. Then Jesse Watters will take it personally to the Ambassador in D.C.

In the meantime, the question is, why does this stuff keep happening? Joining us now from Fort Worth, Texas immigration lawyer Francisco Hernandez; and from Las Vegas Raoul Lowery-Contreras a columnist for Fox News Latino. So, Raoul, why does the madness continue? What's in it for Mexico to do this?

RAOUL LOWERY-CONTRERAS, CONTRIBUTOR FOR FOX NEWS LATINO: Well I think what happened here is it got out of local control. Usually when an incident like this happens on the border between San Diego and Tijuana the local guys they all know each other. They work it out and the Mexicans will march to the American up to the American border which is about 100 yards from where this incident took place and just turn him over and say here he is your problem.

In this case the new border crossing that's a new border crossing that this incident occurred. And there is a Mexican soldier on each lane. And what happened, I believe, I wasn't there but I believe what happened is that the -- Andy -- Andrew told the Mexican customs that he had these weapons in the car. The trunk was opened or the top was open, whatever it was and was seen by a soldier who then reported to his sergeant who then reported to his officer --

O'REILLY: Ok but all of that I mean but now it's two months. Come on Raoul. It's two months everybody knows in Mexico City this is bad. Kerry has even called him --the Secretary of State. Mr. Hernandez does the Mexican government not understand how badly this hurts their country? Because people aren't going to Mexico. Tourists won't go. The last time we had to threaten a boycott. Do you know how much money they lose. Americans go I'm not going there. I am not going there and I am not going there ok. And I like Mexico. But I'm not going as long as this culture is pervasive.

FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ, IMMIGRATION AND CRIMINAL LAW ATTORNEY: But Mr. O'Reilly. First of all, yes, he is our Marine and we ought to get him back. Let's do whatever it takes to get him back. But he is one of many Americans that are down there base on -- in prison based on some very strict gun laws in Mexico.

O'REILLY: So what? It's a mistake. He wasn't a gun runner.

HERNANDEZ: But he never -- but Mr. O'Reilly he never said it was a mistake. And second --


O'REILLY: Yes he did. He called 911. We have the 911 tape. He absolutely said he made a mistake.

HERNANDEZ: If I may finish. You don't cross into Mexico with three guns by mistake.

O'REILLY: Well he says he did and our investigators say it was quite possible. I'm sorry, Mr. Hernandez, our investigators went down there and they said it's quite possible. He called 911. He said it was a mistake. Gun runners don't bring three guns in; they were legally registered here. It's insane. And everyone knows it's bogus.

HERNANDEZ: But they was not registered in Mexico they were not legal in Mexico.

O'REILLY: So what? So what it's discretion. It's discretion. Look you didn't answer my question. Look, doesn't Mexico City and President Nieto understand how this tees off Americans? How angry they get? Does the President not understand that?

HERNANDEZ: Absolutely. And you know what? We sentence Mexican citizens to archaic laws that we have here because that's, unfortunately, what happens but --

O'REILLY: We got six million Mexicans running around the country illegally here.

HERNANDEZ: All right, all right, Mr. O'Reilly, are you telling me that a veteran Marine goes into another country by accident toting three guns, not registered in Mexico for medical treatment come on guys.

O'REILLY: That's what I'm telling you the 911 evidence. That's what I'm telling you.


O'REILLY: All right Raoul do you think it was an accident or do you like Mr. Hernandez think this guy was smuggling three guns into Mexico?

LOWERY-CONTRERAS: No, no, no. He wasn't smuggling and that's not what he is charged with. I do believe because of the new border crossing. I have been crossing the border for all my life and at that particular check point and it's brand new. It's just been open a few months.

O'REILLY: Yes we got that.


LOWERY-CONTRERAS: And I believe that yes, I think it was an accident. Although the truth has come out now that he has been down there several times and he knew where the border was. But unfortunately at that new border point once you realize that you're in the wrong place, you can't back out.


O'REILLY: Well people should understand this. I've got to go you guys.

HERNANDEZ: Press the button. You back out at the point or you push the button.

O'REILLY: People should understand this he was across in Mexico and came back to his vehicle and then apparently got turned around. Maybe he had a couple of shots of tequila, we don't know.

All right. We appreciate you coming on the program.

Now, again we want everybody go to Sign that petition, I want to get a lot of names on there. I want to show the Mexican authorities this is serious business.

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