I guess Rick Sanchez thinks those with ties to white supremacists groups like FAIR are "respectable". Maybe someone should ask him to talk to Rachel Maddow first about what type of questions he should be asking and how you should be portraying Dan Stein if he doesn't want to make himself look like he's trying to put a smiley face on this man's extremism.
As I pointed out in the Maddow post, FAIR has been listed as a hate group by the SPLC and rightfully so.
FAIR, an organization that has been dominated for much of its life by its racist founder John Tanton, has probably done more to inject fear and bigotry into the national immigration debate than any other modern organization. Its demonizing propaganda, aimed primarily at Latinos, comes at a time when the number of hate groups continues a decade-long rise, fueled by anti-Latino hatred. At the same time, the FBI reported a 40% rise in anti-Latino hate crimes between 2003 and 2007. Those crimes decreased slightly in 2008, the latest year for which statistics are available.
Why someone of Latino background like Sanchez would like to give this extremist some cover is beyond me, but his show is always pretty much milk toast even when he pretends like he's going to get tough with a guest, so there's not much of a surprise here with this pathetic interview which is just pretty well business as usual for him.
SANCHEZ: All right. You heard Darrell Issa and I having this conversation a little while ago. This is an important conversation, because it's circular and it keeps going back to the very same place. And it seems silly at times. But there are people who, now, are serious-minded enough to try and come up with some kind of -- some kind of cooperative system that creates an immigration legislation for the United States.
However, and this is very important, can he find that cooperation from others? And I want to introduce you to somebody now. It's a lot harder to do what Darrell Issa was saying he wants to do when you try -- when you have to try and convince some of those on the anti- immigration front. Folks like FAIR who are very respectable in their opinion but they're very, very strident in their opinion about this.
So, I want you to hear now from that side of the story. Here's Dan Stein. He's the leader of this group.
STEIN: The basic problem, Rick, is that, you know, you're hung up on this amnesty concept. Do you think the amnesty issue is what's preventing progress at the federal level?
STEIN: That's not the case. Clearly, everybody on our side opposes amnesty.
The issue here --
SANCHEZ: So, wait, hold on, hold on, hold on. You just said everybody on our side opposes amnesty. Let me just be clear about what you just said.
Are you saying when you say that to the American people, everybody on our side opposes any legislation that would allow someone presently living in the United States who's not legal to in any way have a path to citizenship so that he can acquire residency?
STEIN: Well, if the person can acquire it through lawful means like marriage to a U.S. citizen or what-have-you, but, you know, if they've fallen out of status, willfully disregarded U.S. immigration law, I wouldn't have given Obama's aunt asylum for example.
Look, the laws are laws. Laws matter. It is impossible for somebody to live here illegally, violating immigration law and not violate a lot of other laws as well, tax laws, withholding laws, involving fraudulent documents --
SANCHEZ: Well, no, no, no.
STEIN: -- misrepresentation, lots of felonies.
SANCHEZ: You're wrong. You're absolutely wrong.
STEIN: Maybe it's not -- it's not -- it's not possible -
SANCHEZ: You're wrong, Dan. You're wrong. The government has moved -- bent over backwards to make sure that they can stay here, still collect their taxes, even though the government knows they're illegal. That's what the tax I.D. is all about. STEIN: Well, but -- no, I have never seen somebody reside in this country illegally, for any length of time, who didn't commit a series of other misdemeanors and felonies associated with fraud or misrepresentation and the procurement of benefits jobs or what-have- you. It's not possible. You can't do it.
We've had people walking around with driver licenses who are here illegally. People may have to represent -- look, you have -- you have to violate other laws beside immigration law to live here any length of time.
You've got this paradigm about amnesty. Here's the problem: the American people no longer believe the federal government has the ability -- the ability -- to control and regulate immigration in this country.
STEIN: We have lost control of the process.
STEIN: The judge, Judge Bolton, in saying that Arizona cannot assist in a process -- outrageous decision, by the way -- it's just an injunction so it's not final decision. But, basically, it's completely countermands 200 years of constitutional authority.
She herself admits in the decision that the state can actually assist in various ways. So, she's essentially adopted the idea that the federal government has the right to decide if it's not going to enforce immigration law affecting millions of people who break our laws.
STEIN: Now, try to imagine the FDA saying to the American people -- well, you know, we don't have the resources to check these drugs so we're going to let them go to market. Or the EPA saying, well, we don't have the resources to do it --
SANCHEZ: No, no. I get it.
SANCHEZ: Look, you're right --
STEIN: There's no other area of law in this country -- it's crazy -- we're going to a constitutional and political crisis. It's an affront to our participatory democratic system. It's a political disaster for the Obama administration.
And I'm telling you, this debate is going to get hotter and hotter and hotter.
SANCHEZ: But you, again -- let me -- you're right, and she's basically saying the Supremacy Clause goes into effect here and you can't let a state make a decision that essentially is the jurisdiction of the federal government, and that will get argued by people who have more stripes than you and I do on this.
So, let's move to the last, to the thing that we started the conversation with. So, you're on the record once again saying that the only way that you will back any kind of immigration reform in this country is it includes -- is if it includes the elimination of 12 million people now residing in the United States?
STEIN: The elimination? I think that's not the proper term --
SANCHEZ: The removal, pardon me. Let me change the word, the removal.
STEIN: Rick, Rick, Rick, come on!
SANCHEZ: The removal.
STEIN: We know what we're trying to do. People were leaving Arizona before this injunction. The deterrent value of the law works. People come illegally because they know the law's not enforced. You know --
SANCHEZ: But wait a minute, wait a minute, you can't, you can't -- Dan, you can't address one without the other. You can't say we want immigration reform but we won't let it go or pass in any way if anyone in this country who now is here illegally can stay or have a path to citizenship. So, what you're saying is, you want all 12 million of these people removed.
STEIN: Rick, you are creating a false -- it's a false paradigm. The Obama administration --
SANCHEZ: I don't see how.
STEIN: The Obama administration is taking credit for deporting 400,000 criminal aliens in the last, whatever, 12 months. If you can deport 400,000, then you can deport 12 million in about five or six years. I don't understand why this is such a big deal. The problem is --
SANCHEZ: OK. That's what you're saying we need to do?
STEIN: How do you expect the American people to back an amnesty when the ability of the government -- the executive branch, to regulate immigration, is in jeopardy? The ACLU and MALDEF have brought lawsuit after lawsuit challenging state's ability to assist in the process. No other federal agency helps DHS at enforcing the law. We have a complete legal breakdown.
SANCHEZ: All right.
STEIN: We have a complete breakdown, a breakdown of the rule of law. Where is it going? If you give amnesty, Rick, what's -- what happens after that? Then what?
SANCHEZ: I -- I couldn't be more pleased with the fact that you've come on and defended your position, and that we've been able to discuss these things and that you're on the record as you are. And I want to continue to have these discussions with you because I think they're important discussions that all Americans should hear.
Dan Stein with FAIR, you're always welcomed on RICK'S LIST.