Lou Dobbs on Arizona Immigration Law

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," May 10, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Personal Story" segment tonight: As you may know, former CNN commentator Lou Dobbs became a very controversial guy with his tough stand against illegal alien intrusion. So we want to know what Mr. Dobbs thinks about the new Arizona law, especially because the federal government may sue that state.


ERIC HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL: I understand the frustration of people in Arizona, but the concern I have about the law that they have passed is I think it has the possibility of leading to racial profiling. We are considering all of our options. And we — one of the things that we are thinking about is the possibility of filing a lawsuit.


O'REILLY: All right, here now, radio talk show star Lou Dobbs. So, Arizona law?

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LOU DOBBS, NATIONALLY SYNDICATED TALK RADIO HOST: I think it's entirely defensible, and it will withstand any challenge by the Justice Department or by any group that wants to. People forget, Bill, that Arizona's got a great history in putting forward legislation or referenda that becomes law that withstands challenges. Even the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal supporting Arizona anti-illegal immigration laws.

O'REILLY: It just depends how Arizona carries it out. It doesn't go into effect until August. And it does encroach on federal territory quite clearly. And they have to work with the feds by, if they — if the police do find somebody who's in the country illegally, they have to call ICE, and ICE should come and take it away.

DOBBS: Right, right.

O'REILLY: But Arizona has also got a bad resume on things like Martin Luther King Day.

DOBBS: Sure. Absolutely.

O'REILLY: So you can see why liberal America is upset about what's happening out there. Now I agree with you. I think the law, the way it's written now, not first, but they made it — where they made it you have to be involved in another police matter for the police to actually question you about your…

DOBBS: Yes, they changed the legislation.

O'REILLY: Right.

DOBBS: …first of all, to stop detention or arrest. No more contact with the law. So that is — that's a very clear, straightforward statement that is entirely appropriate and strengthens the proscription against any attempt at racial profiling should it be made. One of the — you mentioned it encroaches on federal law. In fact, it literally mirrors federal law. It does not necessarily encroach, because it is simply saying this is the law and it will be enforced in Arizona.

O'REILLY: But the feds have to adjudicate the law under the Constitution. They have the right to control the borders, where the states don't. And that's where I think…

DOBBS: Well, that's responsibility, not a right.

O'REILLY: Of course they're not taking the responsibility…

DOBBS: Right.

O'REILLY: …which is why Arizona had to do what they did.

DOBBS: Absolutely.

O'REILLY: Now I think Holder's bluffing. I don't — because just as we saw at the top of the program, when he's done the flip-flop about the interrogation, the Miranda rights on the terrorism. If 70 percent of the country supports the Arizona law…

DOBBS: Right.

O'REILLY: …according to the latest poll, 70 percent — if the Obama administration sues Arizona, that's it for them. They're done.

DOBBS: I personally believe…

O'REILLY: Today, this is a bluff.

DOBBS: Whether it's a bluff or whether it is a foreshadowing of their intent, I truly believe it would be a great thing for America if this administration could sue the state of Arizona.

O'REILLY: You want them to sue?

DOBBS: Absolutely.


DOBBS: Because we need clarity in this country. We need — enough of the rhetoric from the left, the right, any of these factions. Let's talk about the responsibilities of the federal government, the responsibilities of the state government. The last I looked, they hadn't suspended the 10th Amendment of the Constitution. Arizona has every right to be taking these steps, particularly where this government is quite consciously, this administration quite consciously is refusing to enforce immigration law either internally or at the border.

O'REILLY: Refresh our memories about the 10th?

DOBBS: States rights. The state has every right not…

O'REILLY: To protect their citizenry.

DOBBS: …to — they have a responsibility.

O'REILLY: Right. Now they'll say the Obama administration and the Bush administration before — I don't know whether you saw the Karl Rove shootout I had last week…

DOBBS: Right, right.

O'REILLY: They'll say they are. We've done this with the Border Patrol. We've done that. We put this one up. We put that one up. We're doing much better.

DOBBS: I would love to see…

O'REILLY: That's what they're saying.

DOBBS: …this administration in discovery in a federal lawsuit trying to explain why Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been chilled ever since the Bellingham Washington raids of a year ago. I would love to see this administration in discovery on the issue of its orders to the Border Patrol, Customs and Border Patrol. More to the point, I would love this see this administration actually take bold, straightforward, action, legislatively to resolve this issue and quit gaming the system.

O'REILLY: Do you think the Obama administration is worse on the border than the Bush administration was? Because you pounded the Bush administration.

DOBBS: Absolutely. I pounded the Bush administration. This administration is worse in that it knows better. Secondly…

O'REILLY: It knows better?

DOBBS: Absolutely. From the experience of the Bush administration.

O'REILLY: Yeah, but the Democratic Party wants illegal aliens to be legalized because they're going to vote Democratic.

DOBBS: If they do, they're going about it in precisely the wrong way. All they have to do is quit gaming the American people. Give us — this is a big, bold nation. We want immigrants in this country. We want a solution, but they keep trying to game the American people. Secure the border. Secure the ports. Do the right thing and let's move forward.

O'REILLY: No, look, I agree. But neither Republican Party nor the Democratic Party are — have done it. They won't do it.

DOBBS: Well, they're going to have to learn that the American people want action.

O'REILLY: You think critical mass has been reached?

DOBBS: I do. And I believe November is a pivotal election in this country.

O'REILLY: Right. I don't think you're going to see a lawsuit, but we'll see. Lou, thanks for coming in. We appreciate it.

DOBBS: Great to be with you, Bill.