On Wednesday’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) went head to head with show host Bill O’Reilly over how to handle the influx of Central American youths at the U.S.-Mexico border.
O’Reilly posed the question to Gutiérrez as how would handle this crisis if he were president. Gutiérrez emphasized the need for diplomacy from the three countries that are the source of the these youths – Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.
However, Gutiérrez also said there was a component of the problem with which Americans are to blame involving money, access to guns and what he called a “insatiable appetite” for drugs.
Partial transcript as follows:
O’REILLY: What would you do if you were president of the United States to stop all of these kids and some of their parents and relatives from coming across? What would do you?
GUTIÉRREZ: Bill, the first thing you have to do is make it abundantly clear to people that it’s dangerous and that there is no benefit once you get here. I think that helps. Secondly, here is what i would do. I would send my state department down there. Right? And get the governments together because, Bill, 80 percent of the kids are coming from three countries. Right? Guatemala, El Salvador. They are not coming from Panama or Costa Rica, they are not coming from Belize. They are coming from these three countries. Honduras is the murder capital of the world. Drug cartels control vast parts of those.
O’REILLY: You are going to have meetings.
GUTIÉRREZ: No, not meetings.
O’REILLY: Meantime the kids are coming every day.
GUTIÉRREZ: But let me just finish if I just could because the first thing is that’s why they call them root problems because they are difficult to get to it what we have to do is, look, have you drug cartels and especially you look at El Salvador and Honduras and Guatemala. There are vast regions controlled. Let me say that with our guns with our money, and with our insatiable appetite for the drugs that come through there.
O’REILLY: You can’t solve those big problems. You can’t.
GUTIÉRREZ: If you don’t go to the root problem, you never see solve the problem.
O’REILLY: You have to stop the immediate urgent problem first.
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