O'Reilly: How Did Soltys Get Into the U.S.?

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This is a partial transcript from The O'Reilly Factor, August 21, 2001.

BILL O’REILLY, HOST:  Why the heck was Nikolay Soltys in this country? The accused killer of five didn't have a job. Apparently, he was rejected by the Ukrainian army and had a history of domestic violence. Yet as millions of responsible foreigners wait for U.S. visas, Soltys is here killing people, according to eye witnesses.

Joining us now from Philadelphia is Professor Ed Turzanski, who teaches Poli Sci at Lasalle University and who is an expert on Russian immigration.

115,000 Ukraine citizens have come to the USA, professor, since the Soviet Union dissolved. Why so many? How are they getting in here?

ED TURZANSKI, LASALLE UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR: They're getting in, Bill, because the Congress sets preference numbers for each country, whose determined that the former Soviet Union should get an allotment. And it's a way of providing a safety valve for that part of the world. And also, there are preferences within which immigration falls. And family reunification is a high priority for us in terms of immigration.

And this particular immigrant, it appears as if he came in through a family reunification preference.

O'REILLY: Well, you know, it's murky. We don't know exactly, the INS hasn't released its record of this guy. But why the Ukraine? What good does it do the USA to allow the Ukraine to send so many people here?

TURZANSKI: Well, it's not just Ukraine. It's the former Soviet Union.

O'REILLY: Yes, but listen to this, professor, 98,000 from Russia itself, all right? Russia is 10 times larger than the Ukraine. 115,000 from the Ukraine. For some reason, the Ukraine's getting this preference you mentioned. Do you know why?

TURZANSKI: No, I don't. And it does surprise me that the number is that high. Although I will mention that throughout the period of the Soviet Union, Russia itself, specifically Russian Jews, had a very large number. And what tends to happen is, the government plays catch up after a while.

O'REILLY: All right, but I understand the Russian Jew thing because the Soviet Union was brutal on the Jews. And they wanted to go and get out of there. And it was a human -- I don't understand the Ukraine. I don't understand how Nikolay Soltys, unemployed, army won't take him in the Ukraine, history of domestic abuse, comes here. He leaves his wife and kid back in the Ukraine. Then they join him. They didn't even want to come over here, but somehow he got him here. And then he shoots five people.

I mean, I'm not getting this. Don't the INS check these people out?

TURZANSKI: They do, but they depend on people who support these immigrants, that is to say the family members who want them over here, to be honest in terms of their assessment of what this person's like. And again, we don't know too much about this guy, Soltys, but it appears as if he had been charged, but not convicted of several crimes. And if a conviction doesn't appear, then it's then the immigration people are very dependent on these family members, who brought him here in the first place.

O'REILLY: I know people...

TURZANSKI: To be responsible.

O'REILLY: Professor, I know people who are trying to get into this country, all right? And they live abroad. And there are people here on temporary visas, who are having a very hard time staying here. Most of these people are highly skilled. They have engineering degrees. This guy, Soltys, had nothing, nothing. He can't do anything, could barely speak the language, no skills, unemployed, sitting there. Either he's being supported by his Ukraine relatives or friends or he's on the dole.

I mean, how does this guy get here when he can't do anything?

TURZANSKI: Bill, I think two parts to the answer. First of all, it has to do with American domestic politics. And it's not just Ukrainians. And I don't think we ought to just focus on Ukrainians because a good segment of that Ukrainian immigration are precisely the kind of people we want in this country. But in terms of the ne'er-do-wells, what happens is, very often American domestic politics takes over. And people just talk about a particular ethnic segment. And they don't look at the quality of the immigration.

O'REILLY: Right.

TURZANSKI: And that's where we get to the second part.

O'REILLY: Right.

TURZANSKI: I think that the country has allowed itself to really become soft on the question of the kind of immigrants we want in the country.

O'REILLY: Well, there's obviously nobody monitoring it once they get here. The Russian mafia is a good example of that. I mean, we let Russians in at the tune of 100,000. And the Russian mafia, according to every law enforcement official I know, is now emerging as one of the greatest threats, crime threats, in this country.

TURZANSKI: I think that's safe to say. In fact, I think the Russian mafia is much more brutal, much more dangerous than any of the other organized crime groups that you can name for any ethnic group.

O'REILLY: Yes, I mean, they'll kill judges. They'll kill cops. They'll kill anybody. And not only do they kill you, they kill your family to send a message. So anyway, it looks to me, professor, like we have an out of control situation here in the Eastern block, as far as letting people into the United States who shouldn't be here.

And then you can look at the racist aspect of this. The Haitians can't get in here. I mean, they're drowning like crazy. We're not letting them in here.

TURZANSKI: Well, actually, there is an act specifically for Haitians to bring them in, but not at the same numbers.

O'REILLY: Yes, I mean proportionally, it's very low.

TURZANSKI: And again, I would also say that there's a very high southeast Asian immigration where also you have a great deal of organized crime activity. I think the problem is more widespread than just Eastern Europe.

O'REILLY: No, so do I.

TURZANSKI: But I do grant you that there is a problem and it has to do with the composition of the immigration and then, making sure that once people are here...

O'REILLY: Great.

TURZANSKI: ...they comport themselves the way we think they ought to.

O'REILLY: They're supervised people. You can't be having people sitting around doing nothing. There should be a probation period.

TURZANSKI: And Bill, again, I go back to this particular family that brought this guy over here. His behavior was not a surprise to them. They knew what they were bringing here.

O'REILLY: They knew. And the INS didn't check it out thoroughly enough. And so we have five dead people and the poor little three-year-old running around with this guy. Hey professor, thanks for your expertise. We appreciate it.

TURZANSKI: Thank you.

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