On Wednesday’s “On the Record” on the Fox News Channel, host Greta van Susteren took on “The Five” co-panelist Bob Beckel over reports that the Obama administration had released over 36,000 illegal immigrants convicted of a nearly 88,000 crimes — including homicide and sexual assault.
Beckel questioned the source of the report, but van Susteren hit the Obama administration on the grounds that there is a double standard for those detained for crimes as U.S. citizen and those detained as illegal immigrants.
Partial transcript as follows:
VAN SUSTERN: Bob, this is awful.
BECKEL: Well, it sounds awful, listening to Byron talk about it. The fact is the administration is not just releasing a bunch of murderers on the street. First of all —
VAN SUSTEREN: Where are they going?
BECKEL: Well, there are people — it’s overcrowded first of all and —
VAN SUSTEREN: Release those got caught like stealing the ham from the Safeway.
BECKEL: Yeah, but wait a second. When you ask the question are they tried and convicted, if they were, they’d be in jail some place. There would have been a sentence. I don’t believe these people were all tried and convicted for a minute. Secondly —
VAN SUSTEREN: Let me stop you there. My clients, when I did criminal defense work, if they didn’t get a trial, they didn’t get released. They waited until there was a judge and jury to try them. They didn’t just release them. They were arrested, like these were apparently arrested. They weren’t just let go for whatever reason.
BECKEL: 75 percent of these people were let go because of judge’s decisions that allowed these Democrats to go out into the street. Most of them were monitored. Some of them had ankle bracelets. But the idea that —
VAN SUSTEREN: Bob, I did this for years. That’s ridiculous. I would do anything to get an ankle bracelet on a client of mine. That’s one of the silliest things at the time, compared to being in jail. Homicide. I’m not talking minor crimes. This is homicide. I mean —
BECKEL: Do you really believe — do you really believe the administration allows killers who walk out just — why? What would be their reason?
VAN SUSTEREN: I don’t know. But apparently, this data is from a congressional-requested investigation information comes from immigration themselves. That’s where the information.
BECKEL: Somebody has got to make the decision. Somebody has got to make the decision so I can’t imagine someone will sit there and say we have 333 murders, put them on the street. The question is, first of all, is there room for them? Are the people in the ICE facilities, are they more hardened criminals, one? Two, is there some way to it legally keep them in these places? I don’t know.
VAN SUSTEREN: Then at least send them back to their own country. Why should we be sorting through this? If they are arrested for homicide and they are not tried or — there are 116 here, sexual assault, 426, domestic violence, 1317. When did I those cases those are the most incredible repeat offenders. Don’t put them on our streets. If you can’t try them and give them a fair trial and hold them, get them out of here.
BECKEL: The Obama administration has released — has sent back home the maximum number under law of the authorization for the money to send them back, 600,000 a year. Much more than the Bush administration did. So, the idea that they all should be sent back, yeah, it would be nice to send them back.
VAN SUSTEREN: Who are the 600,000? If the 600,000 are those that may have overstayed a visa, I would rather keep one of those than one of the murderers or one of the ones that are at least charged with burglary.
BECKEL: Again I come back to the point I cannot imagine that somebody consciously would allow murderers to walk out on the street.
VAN SUSTEREN: I can’t either. My first thought is this is insane. This must be a mistake. That’s why I looked to see where do these numbers come from? These numbers aren’t coming from some right wing organization that has some particular agenda. This apparently is coming from the government itself.
BECKEL: Well, from the House, the —
VAN SUSTEREN: They asked for it.
BECKEL: Yeah, the Republican House asked for it and they also — the ICE and immigration service asked for $2 billion more dollars to house people and didn’t get it. And so everybody who complains about this are not willing to pay for it. So what if got overcrowding conditions and you have got worse people in jail than these guys, but I still — I mean, I find it inconceivable that somebody would make a conscious decision that let criminals walk around the street.
VAN SUSTEREN: Unless there is something wrong with these numbers. We can dig a little deeper. I certainly understand your point.
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