HH: They were, three of the Fort Dix six were in the country illegally. I’m not sure about the travel of the Kennedy Airport four. But did you think the recent draft immigration bill dealt seriously with this particular aspect of the problem of people in this country illegally who might be jihadists?
RG: Hugh, I came to the conclusion that it made it worse.
RG: I would have voted against it just on the grounds that we’re better off the way we are now than the change that we’re going to make, and we’re not in good shape right now. But if you look at what Congress passed, you know, last year, with the fence, technological fence, increase in Border Patrol, if anything, this bill would cut back on that. And the President is better off with the situation the way it is right now. I believe, and that was my second commitment, that you can end illegal immigration without anymore legislation. You have the authorization to build a big part of the fence. You can supplement that with a technological fence that would spot people and alert the Border Patrol to people coming over the border. You could use a border stat program like my compstat program to reduce crime, to strategically place the Border Patrol like we used to do with the police. And you could have a tamper-proof ID card for everyone, and a requirement that everybody that comes into the country has to be identified and in a database. And if you did that, and you did it consistently over a 12 to 18 month period, you’d come pretty close to ending illegal immigration at the border. And if we could show the American people that we could stop it at the border, then the rest of this stuff that’s being debated, I think you could come to a more reasonable accommodation about it. But right now, people look at the things that Ted Kennedy wants to do, and people who are compromising with him, and they say my goodness, I mean, this is just going to…if we don’t get control over our borders, this 12 million’s going to become 20 million.
HH: Among those 12 million are tens of thousands, according to the San Antonio Express News, of illegal immigrants from countries of interest, as the State Department calls them, countries with known jihadist networks. Should we have a separate category for illegals from those countries? Not because they’re all jihadist, but because there will be jihadist among them.
RG: You have to do, you have to have priorities in law enforcement, or in this kind of enforcement. And if there are areas of the world where there’s more of a tendency to produce people that are going to come here and kill us, and hurt us and destroy us, that’s a realistic piece of intelligence, you’ve got to apply that in the way that you’re handling it. And the reality is, I mean, the Senate voted down a provision that would create priorities for illegals who commit a crime. I mean, I can’t imagine anybody doesn’t agree with this. Somebody comes here illegally, and then they commit a crime, shouldn’t they be thrown out of the country immediately?
HH: Well, I agree with that. I’m just wondering if we have to get serious, and that political correctness prevents us from being serious about people from countries with jihadist networks.
RG: I don’t think we’re even close to that point, meaning the situation is so confused with the immigration service, that they’re not able to set priorities like that. Should they be able to do it? Yes, you’re absolutely right. They should be able to do it. They should be able to take intelligence that suggests that from one part of the world, there’s substantially more danger than from another, and apply it. That’s good law enforcement. That’s like a police officer saying when somebody describes the criminal as being six foot tall, you don’t go looking for somebody who’s five foot five.
HH: Now I want to go back, Mayor, to a couple of the topics of the last Republican debate. You got asked out of nowhere whether or not you’d use tactical nukes on Iran, and then you moved on like it was, you know, asking if you were going to subscribe to a magazine or something. Yesterday, or on Sunday, Joe Lieberman said we know the Iranians are running people into Iraq to kill our soldiers, we know where they have a base. If you’re the president, will that continue? And if you’re the president, and you think they’re going to get nukes, will you stop them, whatever is necessary to stop them?
RG: Nice way to put it. Whatever is necessary. I think you say, you don’t take any option off the table. They have to know, they have to know that the American president will not allow them to become a nuclear power, in part because of the danger of the use of missiles, and attacking Israel, and attacking the United States, but maybe even more importantly because they can had nuclear materials off to people. And that may be even a greater danger with a country that’s a state sponsor of terrorism. The more immediate and greater danger is that in their sponsorship of terrorism, and in their ongoing activity of handing armaments and money to terrorists, they would start handing off nuclear material.
HH: In light of that, if the President comes out between now and the next election, and says based on intelligence that we have, and we know the problems with our intel, but based upon what I saw, I have to strike Iran, will you be out there the next day supporting him in that effort?
RG: If I believe that it was the last measure, and it was absolutely necessary to keep America safe, sure. The American president has to have that option on the table, and the American people have to support that, if in fact it comes to that. We all hope it doesn’t, we all wish it doesn’t, we all realize that it would be real dangerous if it did, but I think most of us realize it would be even more dangerous if a country like Iran that is so irresponsible was sitting there with nuclear weapons.
The interview with Tony Snow –in which, no kidding, he professes to be searching for my G spot on immigration– is posted here. Tony comments extensively on the Tony Blair speech today blasting the media as well as the Stoneridge case and the immigration bill. Regarding the Stoneridge case on which I posted this morning, I think the plaintiffs’ bar is going to be very disappointed when his comments make the circuit:
HH: [F]irst, big story in the Washington Post business section today, Wall Street Journal as well. The administration, in the form of Solicitor General Paul Clement, took a pass on the Stoneridge case, where the Supreme Court has said to him come, tell us whether you think we ought to extend liability and fraud, securities matters to lawyers, accountants, consultants, bankers. How could the administration sit that one out, Tony Snow?
TS: Well, again, look, what we’re talking…the administration did not sit it out. The Solicitor General simply asked what our opinion was, and let me just put it this way. On the Stoneridge case, what you’re really talking about is an attempt by trial lawyers to extend liability, really throughout the economic system…
TS: …in such a way that would wreak enormous damage. So we gave the views of the administration, which is that’s not the kind of thing we support. We think it’s bad policy, and the President thinks it’s undesirable to extend the scope of shareholder class actions suits.
HH: So…but the Solicitor General did not file a brief, even though Chris Cox…by the way, he’s my friend, he’s your friend. What’s up with Chris on this one?
TS: Well, you’re going to have to ask Chris on that one. So I’ll just leave it at that.
HH: Okay, but will the administration file a brief formally opposing the extension of this liability?
TS: Well, again, I’ll leave it to the Solicitor General. The way it worked was that they had until midnight last night to side with the plaintiffs. The question is now whether there will be a brief with the defendants, which I believe that would be the side that you would favor. So when you say take a pass, what happened was there was a deadline for last night for supporting the plaintiffs.
HH: Very good.
TS: There’s still as much as a month to decide, and the SG, obviously, Solicitor General, will be making a decision on whether to file an amicus brief on behalf of the defendants.