Wednesday on Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” host Bill O’Reilly took issue with Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s immigration policy, which includes the deportation of illegal immigrants currently here in the United States.
Trump’s plan, which he had somewhat laid out during Tuesday night’s Fox Business Network debate, would mimic former President Dwight Eisenhower’s effort in the 1950s. But according to O’Reilly, Trump’s plan would be very difficult for a number of reasons.
Partial transcript as follows:
O’REILLY: Let’s move ahead. I like Ike — remember, I like Ike. You were around then, right.
TRUMP: I like Ike. A lot of people liked Ike.
O’REILLY: Now, he deported, as you rightly pointed out, about a million, maybe a little bit more illegal aliens back in the early 1950s. Do you know what the program was called?
TRUMP: Now they think it’s 2.2 million.
O’REILLY: All right — whatever it might have been. Do you know what the program was called?
TRUMP: I do, but I wouldn’t use the term. I don’t like the term.
O’REILLY: No, no that’s in English but formal thing is the Bracero program. The Bracero program allowed Mexicans to come in here during World War II to work in our defense industries and in our agriculture because we had a labor shortage. And then what happened was that a lot of people poured across the border and the Eisenhower administration said look, you are corrupting the Bracero agreement we have so we’re going to haul you back.
But believe me when I tell you, Mr. Trump, that was brutal what they did to those people to kick them back. I mean the stuff they did was really brutal. It could never happen today.
TRUMP: I have heard it both ways. I have heard —
O’REILLY: — no, no.
TRUMP: — good reports, I’ve heard bad reports.
O’REILLY: You know me.
TRUMP: We would do it in a very humane way. And Bill let me tell you, Truman also sent 3.5 million people out. So you have to check on that. But Truman, before Ike, sent 3.5 million people out.
O’REILLY: I would have to research that I’m not sure.
But I said last night and this is absolutely true, you have gotten a lot of currency and a lot of popularity on your tough immigration stance and I back you on the wall. I back you. But I also don’t think you could deport these people because the federal courts would stop you and they would say each person that Donald Trump — President Trump wants to deport has to have due process.
So in the year 2050, you’d finally get around to it.
TRUMP: Bill they are here illegally.
O’REILLY: It doesn’t matter.
TRUMP: The people are here illegally.
O’REILLY: The Supreme Court would absolutely rule they all have to have due process because they are on American soil — you know that.
TRUMP: Do you remember when you said about the anchor babies that there is nothing you can do about it and I said yes, there is?
TRUMP: I was right about it.
O’REILLY: No, you weren’t.
TRUMP: And frankly all we need is a simple — yes, I was. You don’t need a new amendment. All we have to do is go back to Congress and have a rather — it’s been fully vetted now, Bill. I was right on the anchor babies.
O’REILLY: The courts have ruled twice against the anchor baby stuff. You’d have to get a constitutional amendment passed to overturn that. You might be able to do it. You don’t have to but you just —
TRUMP: You don’t have to do a constitutional amendment.
O’REILLY: All right. This goes around and around.
TRUMP: You need an act of Congress. I’m telling you — you need an act of Congress. Everybody thought you needed a constitutional amendment.
O’REILLY: You could change the law — absolutely.
TRUMP: You don’t need that.
O’REILLY: But you couldn’t do it retroactively.
Now, who do you think —
TRUMP: Bill, you don’t need a constitutional amendment.
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