Watch: Coulter, Geraldo Debate Immigration, Latinos in America

On Tuesday’s “The Kelly File,” Fox News regular Geraldo Rivera took on “Adios, America”author Ann Coulter for some of her writings and statements on immigration.

Partial transcript as follows:

KELLY: OK. Go ahead.



ANN COULTER, CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: OK. First of all, I’m not hesitating, there is a three second delay here. I want to thank both of you for doing this, a big part of my book is that we won’t see them have the debate on this. I think the first most important point is these are not people who have a right to be here. So I don’t care if they are two rapists. I don’t care if there are two people coming in who are collecting welfare. Immigration is a government policy like any other and it ought to be used to benefit the people already living here. That includes recent immigrants. There should not be any criminals coming in. It is bad enough having people coming in who need government assistance, bringing in people who are felons, can’t we cross that off the list? Secondly, I asked your producer if we can run this during the program. I got here a little bit late. Look at the Los Angeles County’s most wanted list, whether it is top ten or top 100, the idea that immigrants are committing crime at a lower rate than the native population is preposterous. My complaint as described in the book and why this book became this book, other than just a few chapters, was that the government won’t simply count and tell us. So whatever facts there are, it is always people looking at ancillary facts. Why doesn’t the government just count?

KELLY: Go head, Geraldo.

RIVERA: I think — first of all, her basic premise, the title of the book, “Adios, America” is an insulting insinuation that Latinos are somehow going to pervert and drag down and degrade the America we all know and love. This is an insult. It is an insult that is — I won’t use terms like racism because I don’t believe that Ann is a racist. What she is, is a polemicist. She has written a screed, a diatribe here, she had a point she wanted to make in her very sharp and witty writing has made it. Now when I say that immigrants commit less crime than native borne, it is from surveys that I have done for two books I have written on it, the Great Progression and Hispanic. Hispanic is appropriate especially for Ann, how Hispanics will lead America to a new era of prosperity, of that progression. This is why Americans fear Hispanics in the U.S. That’s Ann, she fears Hispanics in the U.S.

KELLY: This is great. It’s like going to the library.

RIVERA: Crime is at record lows in Los Angeles and in New York, the cities that you would assume would be the most impacted by the huge Latino influx.


KELLY: Let Ann respond to that, but first, I want her to define polemicist.

COULTER: That’s exactly what I am. I do want to say I don’t think you are a racist, either, Geraldo. Though, I think you are going kind of close to the edge by insisting that Hispanics piggyback on to the black experience in America. The reason Americans are so concerned with racism and should be concerned with racism. The reason we have civil rights laws, racial set asides, affirmative action, is to make up for the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow by Democrats, I might add. It is not for people who just set foot in this country yesterday to piggy back on that very unique history in America and start claiming affirmative action.


COULTER: And as I said, here it is — this is not exactly a rigorous study saying there are lots of immigrants in L.A. and New York and the crime rate went down. Well yeah, that’s because Giuliani, the prison building boom, its facts that only about a third of California prisoners are white. Are you saying two thirds of them are black? California has one of the smallest black populations in the country.


RIVERA: According to the Congressional Budget Office, these immigrants, the undocumented immigrants contribute more in revenue to the United States pot than they take out in benefits. That’s according to the Congressional Budget Office. According to the Social Security Administration, there is $100 billion paid by undocumented immigrants into Social Security with fake numbers for benefits they will never retrieve. That is their gift. That is their gift to us. They have remade entire neighborhoods, Passaic, Patterson. Go to Washington Heights. Unlike Ann who researched the book from her computer, I have been to all these neighborhoods, I’ve been to the border. I have seen the immigrant vitality. We are all immigrants here. Ann’s family, you may go back decades but I think wasn’t there immigrants on your grandfather’s side? I mean, we’re all immigrants, each of us. The language that this American hell hole, this is the language used against the Irish in the 19th century, against the Italians in the early 20th century, this is inappropriate.

KELLY: Just in case you were wondering, Polemicist, OK, here it is, a strong written or spoken attack against someone else’s opinions, beliefs, practices, etc. That’s it, she’s right. She is that and she admitted it. We can end with that point of agreement in a very nice debate. I have to say they were — they were civil.

COULTER: Everything Geraldo said was false.

RIVERA: Everything Ann has written is false. But I like her.

KELLY: OK. Good bye. Love them both.

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor


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