Sean Hannity battled it out with Univision anchor Jorge Ramos over immigration Monday on Fox News. Ramos argued against what he perceived to be demonization of illegal aliens, while Hannity listed the costs of illegal immigration on American society.
"Jorge, are you at all concerned," Hannity pointedly asked, "about Americans that have been killed by illegal immigrants?"
Are you at all concerned about the drugs that have come into this country? Are you at all concerned about the money Americans have to pay for illegal immigrants as it relates to our educational system, our healthcare system, our criminal justice system? Because you say you don't recognize the country, well I think America is a country of law. Do any of these things impress you at all or bother you at all or do you have any concern for your fellow American citizen?
"Absolutely, absolutely," Ramos responded, "and no one here, Sean this is very important, no one here, including me, is defending criminals in this country. No one here is defending terrorists, or rapists. No one is doing that. The way you are presenting this issue is absolutely wrong. Completely biased."
After some argumentative crosstalk, Ramos continued.
Alright, this is the reality. The vast majority of immigrants in this country, vast majority, Sean, are not criminals, are not terrorists, and are not rapists. Check the report by the American Immigration Council. Immigrants are less likely to be criminals than those born in the United States. Immigrants are less likely to be behind bars than U.S. citizens.
Ramos cites from this report from the American Immigration Council that attempts to draw a comparison between crimes committed by illegal aliens to those who are native-born.
"That's not true," Hannity interjected, "because if 36% represent the 70,000 people that went to a federal prison, that's just not true."
"So, what you are presenting is as if most immigrants in this country are criminals, " Ramos disputed. "Yes, I agree, undocumented immigrants made, they committed a crime by coming to the United States, but that doesn't mean that they are killing Americans. That doesn't mean that they are rapists."
"Since 1990, and I think we can agree about this," Ramos continued, "the number of the undocumented population grew from 3.5 to about 11 million. I think we can agree with that, right?"
"I don't think anybody knows the true number, but that's the number many people use," Hannity allowed.
"According to the FBI," Ramos continued, "in that same period, violent crimes in this country, violent crimes decreased by 48%. So, that's the FBI. Those are the facts, Sean, and even though you might want to present undocumented as criminals, that's not the case."
Hannity countered with his own statistics about crimes committed by illegal aliens.
In the fiscal year 2015, 36.6% of the over the seventy thousand federal sentences were for crimes committed by illegal immigrants. I just played for you, I sat in a security briefing, over a seven year period of time, of Texans alone, 642,000 crimes, including, not the majority, including rape, sexual assault, murders of people in Texas. 642,000 in one state, in seven years, is unforgivable, and we ought not risk American lives.
Hannity asked Ramos who would pay back the trillions that Americans have paid over many years of illegal aliens' healthcare, schooling for their children, criminal incarceration, and other social services. Ramos countered that many illegal aliens pay taxes and work jobs that Americans don't want to work.
The debate continued on past a commercial break into a second segment in which Hannity turned the debate from illegal immigration to refugee immigration. Hannity began by asking, "so we have these seven countries and there are others, I would say the list needs to be bigger, that have ties to terror."
And we he is saying is that we are going to probably inconvenience people to make sure that they are not the people that James Comey and the CIA director and the assistant FBI director and the National Director of Intelligence and former Special Envoy to Defeat ISIS all told the country, ISIS will infiltrate the refugee population. Do you support extreme vetting to protect Americans and not gamble with their lives?
"Well, what I can't understand," Jorge answered, "is that the same country that gave me all the opportunities that my country of origin couldn't give me now is treating other immigrants in this disagreeable way, just because they were born in another country."
The debate ended with Sean Hannity yelling that Ramos doesn't care about Americans and that he doesn't respect the rule of law, while Ramos thanked Hannity for giving him the opportunity to debate the issue on his show.
Both policy promises made by Trump have hit obstacles in implementation as the travel ban executive order has been stalled by challenges in court, while opponents and proponents debate whether his border wall and immigration prescriptions are feasible. Trump signed an executive order on the border wall almost immediately upon entering the White House, but the financing of the proposed construction remains controversial.