On Monday’s broadcast of Fox News Channel’s “Hannity,” host Sean Hannity took on Fusion and Univision host Jorge Ramos over the immigration issue and in particular with some of the proposals put forward by Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump.
The heated back-and-forth centered on what would be best for immigration policy in the United States, with Ramos taking the position that reform was needed and Hannity taking the side of Trump, who insists the border should be secured and has signaled that deportation of those here illegally is a possibility.
Partial transcript as follows:
SEAN HANNITY: Joining us now with reaction is news anchor for Fusion and Univision – – our friend, Jorge Ramos, is back with us. How are , you, sir?
JORGE RAMOS, UNIVISION/FUSION: Fine. Thank you. Thanks for inviting me again.
HANNITY: You know, first of all, Mexico, if you come from Central America, they either put you in jail or they send you out. Australia, sends you out of the country. Anything that you disagree with in terms of his policy? Anything that’s unfair in your view?
RAMOS: Well, I think everything about Donald Trump’s immigration plan is wrong. It’s not only wrong, but it is simply impossible to achieve. He cannot deport 11 million people. That’s not doable.
HANNITY: Sure, he can.
RAMOS: He wants to get into the business of deporting babies.
HANNITY: By the way, wait a minute. You say it’s not doable…
RAMOS: … really what he wants to do, and it is completely absurd to build a wall when about 40 percent of all undocumented immigrants come by plane, Sean. So it is really impossible to do. It might play well in the polls, it might help him in New Hampshire and Iowa. But it simply is not going to work.
HANNITY: We’re a nation of laws. People have entered this country, many of them — there are 642,000 crimes committed in Texas. And I sat through the security briefing with Governor Rick Perry — 642,000 crimes, including nearly 3,000 murders by illegal immigrants against Texas residents since 2008. So we have a problem.
And many people might want a job or a better opportunity for their family, but they’ve got to come legally. And those that bring drugs into the country and those that — even ISIS then (ph), if people can come over because they want a job, so can ISIS.
Why don’t you join with the rest of the country and say it is imperative that we as a nation have an obligation to secure our border?
RAMOS: So why don’t you join with the majority of Americans who believe that we need comprehensive immigration reform? You know, undocumented immigrants are coming to this country because there are thousands of American companies who hire them, and because there are millions of Americans, including you and me, who benefit from their work. And the idea that immigrants tend to be more criminals than the rest of the population is completely…
HANNITY: I did not say — wait! I did not say…
RAMOS: … untrue.
HANNITY: I did not say that!
RAMOS: Immigrants are less likely to be criminals and those born in the United States. Those are according to American Immigration Council. And the other one — immigrants as a whole have lower crime rates than the native born population, according to the Immigration Policy Center. In other words, the concept, the argument that the vast majority of criminals…
HANNITY: I never made that argument.
RAMOS: … (INAUDIBLE) immigrants — it’s absolutely wrong.
HANNITY: I’m giving you the numbers as were given to me by…
RAMOS: Mr. Trump…
HANNITY: Wait a minute! Jorge…
RAMOS: … saying that, and many people argue that…
HANNITY: That’s not what I argue.
RAMOS: … that’s the reason why we should not have immigration reform.
HANNITY: Wait a minute!
RAMOS: That’s completely absurd.
HANNITY: We have 93 million Americans out of the labor force, 50 million Americans in poverty, 46 million Americans on food stamps!
Now, I understand that the people of Mexico and El Salvador and Central America want the American dream. I’m all for an immigration system, but they’ve got to do it legally. They’ve got to respect our sovereignty. They’ve got to respect American law. That ought to be a prerequisite before anybody gets into the country!
RAMOS: But every time…
HANNITY: And you’re defending illegal activity by people…
RAMOS: Every time an immigrant comes to you, there’s an American who’s also committing a crime by hiring them. And we all benefit from their work.
RAMOS: We have to understand that. And we also…
HANNITY: I don’t know what you mean…
RAMOS: We’re responsible for that. So…
HANNITY: They’re driving down wages. They’re creating more competition for…
RAMOS: It’s very simple. It’s…
HANNITY: … for labor in this country…
RAMOS: … an economic process, Sean. It’s an economic process. The fact that they’re coming here, it is not simply because they are criminals and they want to come to this country. They’re coming here because there are jobs for them, and we need them…
HANNITY: No, but there are — there are also criminals coming, too!
HANNITY: There are a lot of people that want jobs…
RAMOS: Of course they do.
HANNITY: … but there are a lot of people that also commit crimes here! There are a lot of people that transport drugs! There’s a lot of human smuggling going on! It has become a great danger to Mexican citizens…
RAMOS: But the vast majority…
HANNITY: … that are hiring these coyotes!
RAMOS: I understand that. The vast majority — this is very important because Mr. Trump is saying something completely different. The vast majority of immigrants in this country are not criminals and are not rapists.
HANNITY: He didn’t say that.
RAMOS: They are contributing enormously to the economy of this country. The Congressional Budget Office recently, when they were considering legalizing 11 million undocumented immigrants — they said that in the first 10 years, immigrants would contribute more than $700 billion to the U.S. economy. Don’t you want that?
HANNITY: Well, hang on.
HANNITY: Wait a minute! I’ll answer your question.
RAMOS: Please go ahead.
HANNITY: You know what? We have 93 million Americans out of the labor force, 50 million in poverty. I would prefer that we get American citizens jobs first, and then we go about the business of reforming our immigration system! But the people we should allow in should not be the people…
RAMOS: But immigrants are not taking those jobs, Sean.
HANNITY: … hang on — that didn’t respect our laws. I keep going back to this. You don’t believe in the rule of law! You don’t care about people that don’t respect our laws! I don’t care about…
HANNITY: I do believe in the rule of law, but we have to be — but we have to recognize that the fact that they are here it’s because there are thousands of American companies hiring them, and because there are Americans also breaking the law. So the only way…
HANNITY: I will concede your point.
RAMOS: … to do that is not as Mr. Trump is saying, deport them all. You cannot do that. What you have to do is…
HANNITY: Why not?
RAMOS: … to have immigration reform, comprehensive immigration — you cannot deport 11 million undocumented immigrants. Are you going to do it by boat…
HANNITY: Well, the first thing I would do-
RAMOS: … or by plane?
HANNITY: The first thing I would do…
RAMOS: Are you going to bring the Army, or are you going to be in the business of deporting babies, which is…
HANNITY: It’s a very emotional argument.
HANNITY: But that — wait a minute, Jorge! that is what Mexico does. That is what Australia does. That is what a lot of countries do. America’s the only dumb country that leaves its borders wide open, and it has transformed our economy!
RAMOS: No, I don’t think so.
HANNITY: Let me finish! Illegal immigrants…
RAMOS: … a great country when in the Declaration of Independence, you say “All men are created equal.” That’s the whole point.
HANNITY: OK. OK. All men are created equal. But we’re a nation of laws! Our Constitution is our rule of law. The amount of money border states have had to pay for our criminal justice system, our health care system, our educational system to take care of those people that did not respect our laws in sovereignty that you are defending this law breaking is astronomical and in the billions.
RAMOS: — creating jobs —
HANNITY: They don’t pay taxes because they’re not in the system.
RAMOS: — billions of dollars in economic profit.
HANNITY: But a lot of people don’t pay taxes because they’re not in the system.
RAMOS: They do pay taxes.
RAMOS: Not only that, it’s taxation without representation because many of them are paying taxes.
HANNITY: They’re not citizens.
RAMOS: Many of them are putting billions of dollars in the Social Security, and they simply can’t benefit from that. But let me just go back to one point you made. Are you serious where you’re talking about deporting 11 million?
HANNITY: I’m saying —
RAMOS: Can you imagine —
HANNITY: Here’s my argument.
RAMOS: — the human rights violations that would create? Is that possible?
HANNITY: I believe —
RAMOS: Are you going to separate families? Are you going to go to the hospitals and take the babies and then send them —
HANNITY: You mentioned babies three times now. I understand your emotional argument. But I will tell you this — I’m for the rule of law. And the people that didn’t respect our laws —
HANNITY: Can I finish?
RAMOS: Let’s create a rule of law including those —
HANNITY: I’ll finish my thought. Didn’t respect our laws.
RAMOS: — proposing, it isn’t going to work. It isn’t —
HANNITY: OK, you’ve answered my question. You support rewarding the law breaking of those people.
RAMOS: No, of course I do not.
HANNITY: Sure you do, because they get to stay —
RAMOS: You want the rule of law and at the same time the American system, the American immigration system is so broken that everyone is breaking the law in this country and we have to recognize that.
HANNITY: What about these so-called anchor babies?
RAMOS: In order to react to that, we have to go ahead with comprehensive immigration reform.
HANNITY: You keep repeating it. No, there’s another way.
HANNITY: We can build a wall. We can stop illegal immigration. And we can give the highly coveted positions we have in this country available to those people that have the most to contribute and those that respect our laws and sovereignty. There is another alternative, not just the one you said. There’s plenty of alternatives.
And I’ve got to tell you something, the American taxpayers have paid billions and billions to bear the burden of cost for illegal immigrants, and you don’t care about taking their money as people have. That’s immoral, too.
RAMOS: Of course I do. I talk with immigrants every single day. But the idea, what you just proposed, building a wall —
HANNITY: That’s right, a wall.
RAMOS: It doesn’t make any sense.
HANNITY: It makes plenty of sense.
RAMOS: You’re going to do it right at the border with Mexico, but how about the 5,000 miles between the U.S. and Canada?
HANNITY: I would do it up there, too. I would do it up there, too.
RAMOS: It seems to be with Mexicans —
HANNITY: No. Well, that’s where the bigger problem is. But I would also do it up there.
RAMOS: Right, 2,000 miles?
HANNITY: I would take the 93 million Americans out of the labor force and hire them first.
RAMOS: And then, what a waste of money and time. Mr. Trump, he’s a businessman.
HANNITY: If we stop. If we stop —
HANNITY: Wait a minute. No, no, no. If we stop —
RAMOS: So it doesn’t matter how long and how tall the wall is going to be.
HANNITY: You’re wrong. You’re wrong.
RAMOS: A wall is not a solution.
HANNITY: I believe it is, and I believe it would work. And we won’t know until we try it.
RAMOS: Let me give another number.
HANNITY: I don’t have enough time. I don’t have enough time. We’ll bring you back, Jorge.
RAMOS: More Chinese immigrants are coming than Mexicans.
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