Bill O’Reilly And Univisión’s Jorge Ramos Reach Stalemate On Immigration Reform


With the illegal immigration debate still raging in Arizona, new statistics are showing that there are 1,100 undocumented convicted felons in only one of the state’s counties– statistics that have Bill O’Reilly concerned about the federal government’s opposition to the state’s new illegal immigration law. O’Reilly invited Univisión’s top anchor Jorge Ramos on the Factor, who opposes the law, to ask him for a fair alternative solution. 

O’Reilly began by proposing a hypothetical: “You are governor of Arizona, and you have 1100 guys and gals convicted of violent felonies on one county– in Phoenix, Arizona county– what do you do?” Ramos seemed much less concerned about this statistic that O’Reilly was, citing numbers that showed national crime diminishing in recent years, as well as specifically in Arizona, according to the FBI. O’Reilly didn’t see this as a solution to the problem, so he tried again and asked the same question. This time, Ramos explained that “most illegal immigrants are not criminals,” and that “they are here because many Americans, thousands of American companies, are hiring them, and millions of Americans, including you and me, benefit from their work.”

At this point O’Reilly seemed to lose his patience and began shouting “You’re dodging the question!” repeatedly at Ramos (Ramos was not directly answering the question, but there’s an argument to be made that his response was simply that he would do nothing about illegal immigration because he didn’t see it as a major problem, given the lower crime statistics). O’Reilly then refocused the discussion on the controversial law itself. This didn’t make the conversation flow any better, with Ramos declaring that “If I were in Arizona right now, I could be detained simply because of the color of my skin,” and O’Reilly telling him that “that’s simply not true.”

O’Reilly’s conclusion on Ramos’ argument? “You’re not saying anything wrong,” but “you just simply don’t know what to do with violent criminal aliens… and, so, therefore you lose your authority to criticize the state of Arizona.”

While the conversation ended in a predictable stalemate, it’s refreshing to see a big-name Spanish-language American journalist on primetime cable news, so credit goes to Fox News for taking the initiative and changing the dynamic. Journalists like Ramos– who, in practice and stature, can be compared to Brian Williams or Anderson Cooper for Spanish-speaking Americans (yes, he’s that respected)– can add a unique perspective that the garden-variety Latin American cable news pundits simply can’t, based on the experience of serving the audience he does alone.

Video of the debate below:

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