This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," February 21, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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O'REILLY: "Impact Segment" tonight. Last night, I debated Dr. Austan Goolsbee, a Democrat. The issue was my contention that his party doesn't care a witz (ph) about criminal illegal aliens in this country. Dr. Goolsbee offered this dissent.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. AUSTAN GOOLSBEE, FORMER ECONOMIC ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT OBAMA: The thing that is objectionable about Donald Trump's policy is he started by saying, let's deport criminals and now, he is redefining what a criminal is.
O'REILLY: Okay. I am not sure if he is redefining it. I haven't seen any redefinition. I haven't seen any.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: Now Dr. Goolsbee was referring to Homeland Security directives that say aliens who commit minor crimes may also be targeted. The big picture that the Trump administration may deport illegal aliens who have now committed some low-level crimes, including welfare fraud.
Also, Homeland Security also has the authority to deport anyone they see as, quote, "a risk" of public safety.
Joining us from Austin, Texas, Karl Rove.
So, it is my belief that if you start to round up, as Juan was saying of people getting traffic tickets, all right? Even though you can be an illegal alien in California and get a driver's license, if you start to do that, and you are pulling chambermaids out of motel sixes, or whatever, that Americans are not going to want it. Am I wrong?
KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: No, I agree with you. And look, that is not what Secretary Kelly apparently wants, either. He recognizes, and his two memoranda, which incidentally are available on the first page of the Department of Homeland Security. So, any American can go and read them. He makes it clear that they want to prioritize the use of the resources of the Department of Homeland Security to focus on people who have committed criminal acts or engage in criminal behavior.
ROVE: And his spokesmen have made it clear in the interviews this day that they do not anticipate, they don't have the resources to round up 11 million people, nor do they have any intention of doing that.
O'REILLY: And just today, they were new guidelines put out. And mostly more border patrol agents, more I.C.E. agents back and stuff like that. But the DACA, 750,000 DACA people, they are not going to be deported. I mean, that was not in the new Homeland Security directive.
ROVE: The people --
O'REILLY: But that doesn't stop the Democratic Party, and I am using that in a general sense, not all Democrats, but the hierarchy, as continuing to go out and say, he wants to deport the gardeners.
O'REILLY: They can't get the farm workers. He is scaring everybody. The facts don't seem to matter.
O'REILLY: So, therefore, my contention is, that President Trump, if he wants to win, he's got to stick on the facts, as we do here on this program, and pick up, you know, the threads of the Seattle situation, the Kate Steinle situation. Because those are factual.
ROVE: Yes. Well, look, I would make two points. First of all, you know, I was interested last week, 74 percent of the people who are rounded up in the I.C.E. --
O'REILLY: Had criminal records.
ROVE: No, no, no, no. Seventy four percent of them had felony criminal records.
ROVE: Virtually all of them had some form of criminal record that was not a felony, for example, they had in order to remove themselves from the country and hadn't or they were charge of the criminal offense but had not been resolved. So, but 74 percent under the definition of I.C.E. were people who had criminal offenses that they had committed. So, I went back and look. This is a report for 2016. And it is emblematic of the report for every year that President Obama has been in office.
And that is, his roundups got no more than 59 percent of the people who fell into the same hard-core category that generated 74 percent last year, 74 percent last week. In fact, last year, 2,000 people, remember that kid who swept up in Seattle because his uncle is a drug dealer and he is a dreamer?
ROVE: Last year, there were 2,000 such people who Barack Obama's administration caught as a result of their sweep and whom they sent back. And we didn't see a screaming and shouting that we are seeing now. Now, look, I am with you. I don't think it is wise for the administration to engage in trying to round up and sent home 11 million people. But I think that the steps they have gotten, I mean, think about this, this is literally what it says. Here's what you are going to prioritize. Anybody was committed a criminal offense. Anybody who has been charged with a criminal offense but it hasn't been resolved in a court of law.
Anybody who has committed a chargeable offense. Somebody who has been engaged in fraud and to achieve a government benefit. Somebody who has abused is a benefit program. Somebody who is subject to a lawful removal order and has failed to comply with it or somebody, as you said, who is a risk to public safety or national security. That is a pretty good stander that I think a lot of people would agree with.
O'REILLY: Well, we have a new poll tomorrow, but there are 950,000 people with deportation orders right now that haven't been served.
O'REILLY: So, you can expect in the next six months to a year that this is going to be all hell breaking loose in this country. Because Homeland Security is going to go after those 950,000. And you know, you saw what happened last week when 653 rounded up. So, this is going to be the story of the year, I believe.
ROVE: We do need to have an answer on how to resolve humanely the people that are law abiding and keep their nose clean and been a part of our society for some number of years.
O'REILLY: That debate in Congress should begin as soon as possible. Mr. Rove, thank you.
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