How Sarah Palin Would Tackle Illegal Immigration

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," July 9, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Now for the top story tonight: If Sarah Palin were president, could she solve the illegal immigration problem? When I spoke to the governor last night, that was the big question.

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O'REILLY: So you're president of the United States, Sarah Palin. You send how many National Guard to the border right away to secure it?

SARAH PALIN, FORMER GOVERNOR OF ALASKA: However many you need. This is a top priority. This is a national security issue.

O'REILLY: All right, but I'm talking Texas, California, New Mexico, all of them. So you'd send maybe 10,000, 15,000 National Guard down there to assist the Border Patrol, yes?

PALIN: Whatever it takes. Whatever it takes.

O'REILLY: All right, so you'd militarize the border. You'd finish the fence, finish building the fence from Brownsville to San Diego, yes?


O'REILLY: Now we have 12 million people staring at you. And you say to those people you're in here illegally; you broke civil law by coming in here. Now are you going to deport them? What are you going to do?

PALIN: Well, again, first, let me go back to the importance of securing the border. They're talking about amnesty…

O'REILLY: No, but we got that, governor. Everybody…

PALIN: No, we don't.

O'REILLY: Yes, the people watching this program have it. We have it. We assume that you, as president, would secure the border. I have confidence that you would do that. But now you have to look inward, all right? And you've got 12 million people staring at you. What are you going to have them do?

PALIN: You're not going to give them a free pass. You're not going to say, OK, you and anybody else who wants to scurry across this porous border between now and when we finally do finally get it fenced in and physically secure, we're going to give you a free pass.

O'REILLY: All right.

PALIN: And just because you've broken law in the past…

O'REILLY: So no amnesty.

PALIN: …we can trust you. No, no amnesty.

O'REILLY: But what do you do with these folks?

PALIN: Which means…

O'REILLY: Do you make them register with the federal government? Do you tell them they have 60 days to get out of here before we put you in jail? What do you do with them?

PALIN: Do we make them register with the federal government? Yes, we do.

O'REILLY: Yes, so we know who they are.

PALIN: We have -- exactly, yes. I want to answer to that question absolutely.

O'REILLY: All right.

PALIN: We're not going to give them a free pass.

O'REILLY: So you make them register with the federal government.

PALIN: We're not going to reward the bad behavior.

O'REILLY: And if they don't register with the -- say you gave them 60 days to register with the federal government. There's a form at the post office they have to send in like a Census form. All right, say they didn't do it.

PALIN: You deport them.


PALIN: You have to get them out.

O'REILLY: So the ones that don't…

PALIN: We don't reward their continued bad behavior.

O'REILLY: …after period of time. OK, after a period of time…


O'REILLY: …the ones that don't cooperate, you catch them, they're gone.

PALIN: Right.

O'REILLY: Now, you have these people that register. You're going to have millions of them. Then they register and they say, OK, we obeyed what President Palin told us to do. Then what? Do you give them green cards to work right away? What do you do with them?

PALIN: You know, there has to be that expectation that they will work and that they will contribute. Bill, it makes me uncomfortable that we're even going down that path so far…

O'REILLY: You have to though.

PALIN: …when -- no, no.

O'REILLY: You have to go down the path because it's going to come up.

PALIN: American citizens who are here lawfully, they need to be the ones with the first shot at getting these jobs. We cannot make it easy on those who have chosen to be illegally here to disobey our laws. No.

O'REILLY: No, we can't make it easy, but they're here. And we can't starve them to death. And if they can't work, if they don't have a green card to work, they're going to be hosed. I mean, they got to pay rent, they got to buy groceries…

PALIN: Well…

O'REILLY: …this, that and the other thing. So this is where it gets very complicated, governor. You know, it gets very, very complicated…


O'REILLY: …because you are rewarding bad behavior. You're letting them stay in the United States. And they came in illegally.

PALIN: Then let's keep it -- then we won't complicate it anymore. Let's keep it simple. And let's say no, if you are here illegally, and if you don't follow the steps that at some point through immigration reform we're going to be able to provide, and that is to somehow allow to you work. If you're not going to do that, then you will be deported. You will be gone.

O'REILLY: OK, we've established that.

PALIN: But let's look at case history.

O'REILLY: Yes, we've established that.

PALIN: Let's look at what, you know, political hero Ronald Reagan tried to do with 3 million illegals all those years ago.

O'REILLY: He botched it though, governor. Reagan botched it.

PALIN: Exactly.

O'REILLY: He botched it.

PALIN: That's what I'm saying. So we learn from history. We won't do what he did.

O'REILLY: No, but you're going to have to do…

PALIN: He did in that respect, in that realm.

O'REILLY: …whoever the next president is, is going to have to deal with 12 million people. And that's going to be very, very difficult.

All right, let me switch gears here. This is frightening me, governor. I'm getting very, very afraid of mama grizzlies. And you are, I guess, the mama grizzly chieftain. Am I -- why don't you explain what the mama grizzly deal is?

PALIN: Mama grizzly in a political sense is someone who is watching what is going on that is adversely affecting our cubs, our children, the future of America. And there are a lot of common sense, constitutional conservative women who are willing to put it all on the line and run for office or support candidates willing to run for office to take this country back…

O'REILLY: All right, so this is a clarion call.

PALIN: …and not allow the Pelosi, Reid, Obama administration and agenda continue to put us on a path towards insolvency…


PALIN: …to put us on a path toward a less secure and less free nation.

O'REILLY: So you are trying to mobilize mama grizzlies all over from Anchorage to Key West from San Diego to Bangor, Maine, to get involved, either run themselves or support candidates they like. This mama grizzly movement is going to take over the country.

PALIN: It's all about stopping Obama, Pelosi and Reid and what they are doing to our country, to our children and our grandchildren and their futures.

O'REILLY: All right, governor. Always a pleasure to talk with you. Thanks for taking the time.

PALIN: Thanks, you too.

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