Can Rudy Giuliani Solve America's Immigration Mess?

This is a rush transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," August 14, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Campaign '08" segment tonight, a new CBS News poll has Rudy Giuliani out in front of the Republican field, but it's really too early to take these polls very seriously.

However, the former mayor of New York City has a strong shot at the nomination. He's trying to woo conservative voters by attacking the immigration problem. I spoke with Mayor Giuliani yesterday.


O'REILLY: All right, so you say you're going to solve the immigration mess, correct?

GIULIANI: Absolutely.

O'REILLY: All right. Now, explain it so even I can understand it. How you going to do that?

GIULIANI: Well, first thing you're going to do is you're going to build a fence...

O'REILLY: Build a fence?

GIULIANI: ... physical and technological — physical for part of the border, technological for the rest.

O'REILLY: All right.

GIULIANI: The technological fence will alert the Border Patrol. And within a half hour, 45 minutes, you get them there and you stop the people from coming in.

O'REILLY: OK. So at least some kind of barrier.

GIULIANI: Correct. And then you do a border stat program that helps you analyze where people are coming in so that you can predict where they're coming in and have your Border Patrol even better pre-positioned.

O'REILLY: They don't do that now?

GIULIANI: I don't know. They certainly don't have all the substations that you need to do this, the way we had police precincts. It's very similar to my CompStat program. Nobody thought we could reduce crime in New York. We reduced crime more than any other city.

O'REILLY: All right. So you flood the place where the most people are coming.

GIULIANI: And then a tamper-proof I.D. card for every foreigner in this country with biometric data, fingerprints...

O'REILLY: Right.

GIULIANI: ... so you can be sure who the person is.

You record that on entry, you record all exits, which the Bill that they put together wasn't going to record.

And once we get control of it, we figure out our long-term solution.

O'REILLY: All right. So if a person comes in here on a vacation visa you're going to give them a biometric card?

GIULIANI: You got it. Right. Every single person.

O'REILLY: Every person at the airport, they come in, they get their passport stamped...

GIULIANI: You got it.

O'REILLY: ... they get a little card.

GIULIANI: They get a little card. And if you don't have that card...


GIULIANI: ... you get thrown out of the country. And then something — two other things...

O'REILLY: Is that a hard card to give you right on the spot?

GIULIANI: No, it would take, like, seconds to do it.

Here, you can do photographic fingerprints. You can do four fingers, you can do...

O'REILLY: Right there at Kennedy or any other port of entry — L.A.

GIULIANI: Right there. I did that back in 1994 with welfare people. And it was a big, big, horrible thing that I was doing. I was asking welfare people to be biometrically identified by their fingerprints.

O'REILLY: And it worked?

GIULIANI: It worked. It got rid of the duplicates and triplicates, people who were getting welfare in three different places or four different places.

If they were in one system — if you walked into a New York office and a Queens office and you signed up in the New York office, when you went into the Queens office and put your fingerprints in — badump, badump — it shot off and there you were caught.

O'REILLY: All right, so let's recap.


GIULIANI: Barrier.

O'REILLY: ... either physical or technological.

GIULIANI: Border Patrol.

O'REILLY: Right. Border Patrol flooding the place.

GIULIANI: Tamper-proof I.D. card.

O'REILLY: Tamper-proof I.D.

GIULIANI: Americanization. At the end of the road, everybody who becomes a citizen, no matter what their status was before or how you're dealing with it, what penalties they have to pay, has to speak, read and write English.

O'REILLY: So you're giving them a test.

GIULIANI: Giving them a test.

O'REILLY: ACLU is not going to like that.

GIULIANI: Purpose of immigration, remember, as you and I always understood it is, immigration wonderful. I'm the biggest advocate of legal immigration you're going to find. But it's part of assimilation.

O'REILLY: Now, one of the big things that you're going to have to deal with is Iraq. What do you say to people who say, "Look, the U.S. military has performed great" — you know that — "but the Iraqi government's corrupt and it's not worth our blood and treasure because these people will not help themselves."

What do you say to that?

GIULIANI: What I say is you've got to take this in steps. And the step that the critics never thought would work seems to be possibly working.

O'REILLY: The surge.

GIULIANI: The surge and bringing about stability in Iraq. The prerequisite to having a democracy or to having a non-corrupt government, or to have a government that works, is to have a degree of stability so people can go about their lives. Then they can stop worrying...

O'REILLY: Do you think most people are going to accept that after four years?

GIULIANI: Do I think most people in America will accept it?

O'REILLY: Yes. Yes. Yes.

GIULIANI: Or do I think it's the right thing to do?

O'REILLY: Most people in America. Because, see, you're going to be running against your opposition, whoever it may be, who are going to say, "We've got to get out of there. These people don't deserve our largesse."

GIULIANI: Right. But I will only react to public opinion polls if I think they're right. If I think they're wrong and I think it's the wrong fundamental decision for this country, I will try to lead the American people rather than...

O'REILLY: How much time are you going to give the Iraqis?

GIULIANI: ... have a public opinion poll to tell us what the right thing to do is.

O'REILLY: OK. But how much time are you going to give the Iraqis to stand up for themselves?

GIULIANI: I don't think it's a matter of time. I think it's a matter of seeing what kind of progress you're making. Right now, what I'm interested in is what General Petraeus says when he comes back. I...

O'REILLY: Well, he's going to say they're doing OK.

GIULIANI: And he's going to say he needs a little more help. And I would give him a little more help. That's what I would do.

O'REILLY: Now, the final question is, The New York Times has been concentrating on your family and your private life. All right. Now, you have to make a decision whether to confront that, because they're not going to stop, or to ignore it.

What are you going to do?

GIULIANI: Well, I've been dealing with The New York Times since, you know, the day I became mayor.

O'REILLY: They don't like you.

GIULIANI: They don't agree with me, I guess. I don't know about liking me. I don't think it's personal.

O'REILLY: No, they don't like you. They don't like me either.

GIULIANI: I think we have a very different view of the world...


GIULIANI: ... on so many different things. You know, the other day I said that there are ways in which you can lower taxes and actually get more revenues. And The Times I think today has an editorial - - maybe it's the day before — saying basically how stupid that is.

But the reality is, The Times never ran a government. I did. And I actually accomplished that. I actually lowered taxes and made more money.

I lowered the hotel occupancy tax. I cut $100 million more from the lower one. I lowered the income tax by 24 percent. I've cut 40 percent more from lower tax than from the higher tax.

So you sort of put this aside. You realize these are editorial writers; they're entitled to their opinion. A lot of times — not always — a lot of times there's no practical experience behind that. So you just take it for what it's worth.

And the fact that they would go after me is hardly a surprise to me. They were doing it all during the time that I was the mayor. Although in one of the biggest surprises of my political career, they endorsed me for reelection. And I was shocked when they did, but they did.

O'REILLY: But they're concentrating on your family, you know, and it looks to me like they're going to continue to do that. Are you going to address that or are you going to ignore it?

GIULIANI: No, no, we have addressed it. What we've pointed out is that families should be kept private, that that's part of my private life, that I talk as little about that as possible so that my children can have the maximum degree of privacy. And if they want to continue to do that — and, honestly, I don't think The Times has been anywhere near the worst in terms of dealing with...

O'REILLY: No? Somebody worse than that? Who?

GIULIANI: Oh, gosh, I think The Times in some ways — I've always thought The Times on personal issues has been better than some of the other publications.

On political issues, on political characterization, we got a lot of differences, but on personal issues I don't think The Times has been that bad. I think they've been professional.

O'REILLY: And so what I'm hearing from you is, in the next 18 months, as you try to be president of the United States, you're going to say, "My family is private."

GIULIANI: You're darn right it is.

O'REILLY: "I'm not going to engage in this in the public arena." That's what I'm hearing from you.

GIULIANI: As much as possible, the less you say about children and the less you focus on them, the more they can have their own life as children...

O'REILLY: Right.

GIULIANI: ... which they're entitled to have.

O'REILLY: It's hard to do, though.

GIULIANI: Of course it's hard.

O'REILLY: I mean, you know, if they insult your wife or if they mis-categorized your personal history, human nature is, "I want to strike back at these people."

GIULIANI: Well, sometimes discretion is the better part of valor.


O'REILLY: All right, Mr. Mayor. I appreciate you coming in, as always.

GIULIANI: Thank you.

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