This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," July 16, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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O'REILLY: Back to Fox segment tonight. How to solve the border mess.
Joining us from Washington, Senator Marco Rubio from Florida.
So Senator, top of the program we told the audience about polls that are coming in now on the border crisis. President Obama getting hammered. The vast majority of Americans think he is doing a terrible job there. However, just 23 percent of Americans believe the Republicans in Congress, of which you are one are doing a good job. 23 percent. So you guys are getting a blast as well. So my question to you is, if you were the president of the United States how would you stop this humanitarian disaster down there?
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R) FLORIDA: Well, first of all, it wouldn't have happened because I never would have signed an executive order granting a deferred action to those who were in this country illegally. I think he was showing a tremendous amount of compassion, but that was not the right way to do it. It sent a message that actually invited people to come, and you see the disaster that has followed. The second thing, I would say, is that the first step in this process needs to be an all-out effort to finally put to rest the illegal immigration problem in America. And this involves the construction of strategic fencing, but also the deployment of specific technologies like ground sensors and cameras and drones and so forth to secure the southern border with Mexico. It involves a verify system, to require employers to verify that the people they are hiring are legally here. It involves an entry-exit tracking system, particularly at our airports, because 40 percent of our illegal immigration problem are people that enter the country legally and overstay visas. That would be the first step in this process, you have to do every single aspect of it, and only after you do that can you move to step two, which is reforming the legal immigration .
O'REILLY: And I agree with you 100 percent, you have got to stop - you've got to stop the madness first. But let's deal with the kids now because this is the humanitarian crisis the whole world is watching. Number one, you have no fence in these hot sectors, you say we should. And I agree. Number two, Governor Perry of Texas is asking and has asked for years, the National Guard to get down and help the border patrol. Do you favor that?
RUBIO: I do, and again, that has to do with manpower and that would be a part of any effort to secure the border.
O'REILLY: OK. So you put the guard down there, you show the world the pictures of our military on the border. Right away just those pictures then would de-incentivize the people who are paying these terrible cartels to human smuggle. So you would have a solution. All right, now, why do you think the folks are holding it against the Republicans -- are they believing President Obama when he is trying to blame you, guys, for the border madness?
RUBIO: I think it is an indictment of all of Washington, of the failure for more than a decade to deal with the problem that we know exists. Unless you are in favor of the status quo, unless you look at what is happening now and say, I think, this is working for America you have to be in favor of fixing it. So that is not really the debate, the debate is how do you fix it? And in my mind, the first step in fixing this, is to stop the growth and the problem that we have right now with illegal immigration, and then to begin to erode that number, to lower it, so that you can move to step two, which is reforming the legal immigration process towards one that is based on merit and works for our country in the 21ST century.
O'REILLY: OK, would you send the kids back?
RUBIO: Yes, and I'll tell you why that' important. Because the leading reason why this is happening, is word of mouth is spreading that if you make it to the United States as an unaccompanied minor or as a family with children you are going to be treated differently than adults who are traveling by themselves. And that word gets back, so imagine for a moment, if someone comes across the border, as a family or as an individual, they are now released into the population, with a notice to appear, but, of course, they never will, or do. And then what happens is, they call back home, people see they made the voyage safely, and you've now created a word of mouth incentive.
RUBIO: For others to do the same thing.
O'REILLY: All right, so you would send them back - you would get the increased courts, the judges down there to get them out, because that's going to be a big thing when that starts to happen. How many times have you spoken to President Obama personally about immigration reform?
RUBIO: Well, we've spoken a couple of times, but not in more than a year. And again, my conversations always begin with, what I've been saying publicly, and that is, anyone who is in favor of immigration reform must first be in favor of border security.
O'REILLY: And then how - what does he reply to that?
RUBIO: Well, I think they don't necessarily - well, two points - number one, the thing they'll say is the border has never been more secure, which is true for a handful of the sectors, but not for the others, not for the Rio Grande sector, not for the other sectors that we've seen, the Tucson sector of the border where people are crossing. And that has been the real challenge, is that the argument if you recall, he gave a speech in El Paso a few years ago where he mocked people who said we needed more border security by talking about how we would insist on a moat with alligators in it. And of course, now, we've seen that the border is in fact not secure.
O'REILLY: All right, Senator, we appreciate your time tonight, thank you.
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