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Glenn interviews GOP Presidential Candidate Rudy Giuliani
SEPTEMBER 07, 2007


GLENN: Welcome to the program. Mayor Giuliani, how are you?

GIULIANI: Nice to talk to you.

GLENN: Rudy, first of all, loved you in the debate. I saw the polls and people disagree with me. They thought you were talking about New York too much. I personally thought you won the night the other night. I thought you were very clear. The reason why you were talking about New York is you're not hanging your hat on September 11th. You're hanging your hat on all kinds of things. You have vast amounts of experience and I just thought you did a great job, but I want to go a little deeper on a couple of things and if you done mind, I'd like to start with immigration.
Giuliani on Illegal Immigration
"Glenn, it's not a crime. I know that's very hard for people to understand, but it's not a federal crime."


GLENN: You're being attacked on immigration. Correct me where I'm wrong. You say you took over the policy that was in place before you. You basically said you can't ask for immigration status if they come in to report a crime, get medical care, use in school. You didn't start the policy, but you didn't stop it, either, right?

GIULIANI: Also I did two things about the policy. The policy as it's described by some of my opponents. The fairness to my predecessors, the policy was to report all criminals, not just all criminals. It says right in the executive order the police are instructed to report all people who are illegal who are suspected of a crime. So we reported all people who were suspected of a crime or who committed a crime to the immigration service.

GLENN: All right. Which executive order was that?

GIULIANI: It was the executive order that was signed originally by Mayor Koch, continued by Mayor Dinkins and then by me and it sets up the following situation. You have to report all illegal immigrants or anybody with a questionable status who is suspected of committing a crime. However, there are three exceptions, only three exceptions to it. One is if they're putting children in school; two is if they are reporting a crime; three is if they're going to a hospital for healthcare which, by the way, was mandated by the federal government. So the first two, even the third were necessary for public safety. New York had 400,000 illegal immigrants. The federal government never deported more than 2,000 a year. If the illegal immigrants who were in New York and not going to be removed, even though their names were being turned over when they committed crimes, then you wanted their children to go to school. Otherwise there was a real chance there would be even more crime in New York City with 70,000 children at home, with nobody to take care of them.

GLENN: All right.

GIULIANI: So the point that I make is, the way to evaluate my policy, was it a good one or a bad one was, what was the end result of my policy. The end result was the safest large city in America, safer than any cities than any of my opponents came from or had responsibility for.

GLENN: Well, okay. I agree with that, but then you've got this quote from '94 and you give me the context on this. Quote: If you come here, you work hard. You happen to be an undocumented status, you're one of the people who we want in this city. You're somebody that we want to protect. We want you to get out from under what is often a life of being a fugitive, which is really unfair.

GIULIANI: The context of that was for people to come forward to report crimes because we needed their help and we didn't want them to be afraid of coming forward. The context of that was we wanted them to put their children in school not to be afraid to do that. Even with the policy that I pointed, I continued it was probably seven, eight years old, there were still people, illegal immigrants, who would not report crimes. But we wanted them to.

GLENN: Right. But isn't illegal immigration a crime in and of itself?


GLENN: Aren't you saying --

GIULIANI: Glenn --

GLENN: You're protecting criminals by saying that being treated as a criminal is unfair.

GIULIANI: Glenn, it's not a crime. I know that's very hard for people to understand, but it's not a federal crime.

GLENN: It's a misdemeanor but if you've been nailed, it is a crime. If you've been nailed, ship back and come back, it is a crime.

GIULIANI: Glenn, being an illegal immigrant, the 400,000 were not prosecuted for crimes by the federal government, nor could they be. I was U.S. attorney in the southern district of New York. So believe me, I know this. In fact, when you throw an immigrant out of the country, it's not a criminal proceeding. It's a civil proceeding.

GLENN: Is it --

GIULIANI: One of the things that congress wanted to do a year ago is to make it a crime, which indicates that it isn't.

GLENN: Should it be?

GIULIANI: Should it be? No, it shouldn't be because the government wouldn't be able to prosecute it. We couldn't prosecute 12 million people. We have only 2 million people in jail right now for all the crimes that are committed in the country, 2.5 million. If you were to make it a crime, you would have to take the resources of the criminal justice system and increase it by about 6. In other words, you'd have to take all the 800,000 police, and who knows how many police we would have to have.

GLENN: So what's your solution?

GIULIANI: My solution is close the border to illegal immigration.

GLENN: How do you do that?

GIULIANI: You do that by building a fence, a physical fence and a technological fence, and the technological fence is more important than the physical fence. The technological fence would alert you to illegals approaching the border well in advance so the border patrol can get there and stop them. You deploy the border patrol every 50 miles along the border. I've already outlined this on a map. I did this in detail about two weeks ago. And then you have the border patrol stop people from coming in, literally stop them from coming in. If you did that for a year or two, you would end it. You also have a tamperproof ID card that every person from a foreign country should have that comes into the United States. The goal has to be, yes, you're allowed to come to the United States but you have to identify yourself before we let you in, and we have to be sure you're a safe person. And then if you come in, you'll be in the computer base, you'll be able to work, you will have to pay your fair share, you'll have to pay taxes but we have to end it right at the border by having the resources to stop people from just walking into this country and not identifying themselves. Only the federal government can do this. If the federal government doesn't do this, there is no way that the local governments in this country can handle it other than in a practical way. If you make people that are just going to be here for the next 20 years, if you put them in a situation of danger and risk, you're going to have more crime in your communities.

GLENN: There are two things that jump to mind here, and I don't -- I mean this with all respect, I gotta tell you. As I watched you the other night -- I mean, I really, truly think that we're in real trouble in this country --

GIULIANI: We are in trouble.

GLENN: -- on so many fronts.

GIULIANI: There was an article in Time magazine, I don't know if it was a week ago or two weeks ago and it's highly critical of me. Believe it or not, I'm very proud of it. The article says I am exaggerating the Islamic terrorist threat.

GLENN: No, you're not.

GIULIANI: And I have to tell you in all honesty and good conscience, I'm understating it because I don't know how to exaggerate it. It is a real threat. I wish it wasn't. All you have to do is look at what's going on in Germany right this minute with those people that were, you know, planning to attack American soldiers. All you have to do is look at what happened in New Jersey a few months ago with the people who were planning to attack Fort Dix or in Queens with the people that were going to attack Kennedy airport. This is going on all the time and we have to be on offense against it --

GLENN: Hang on.

GIULIANI: America has never --

GLENN: I don't think there's a soul -- honestly I don't think there's a soul in the audience that doesn't think you are going to be extraordinarily tough. I admire you for what you did with Yasser Arafat in the 1990s, I admire you for what you did during 9/11 with the Saudi prince and after. However, what you just said about immigration, you missed -- there is no ramification that you just mentioned for the companies and that's the supply -- or that's the desire side. And the other thing is, and I hear this all the time and it drives me crazy. These tamperproof ID cards. Have you noticed how many times we've changed our money in the last five years? There's no such thing as tamperproof ID.

GIULIANI: Well, first of all, I didn't mean to leave out the companies. Anyone who is engaged in illegal activity should be penalized. The more you have a system that has one single ID card and you have a tamperproof ID card, the penalties can be enforced. The problem with it is not that the penalties don't exist. They are very hard to enforce. Now, you are absolutely correct, Glenn. There is no such thing as a 100% tamperproof ID card, but where you're wrong is there are considerably better cards and identification systems than we presently have.

First of all, if you made it just one identification card, that would help instead of six or seven. Number two, if you just introduced some biometric data on it like a fingerprint, you'd probably get it to -- I don't want to do this statistically but you'd get it to 98%, 99%. That's a heck of a lot better than where we are now. We have an ancient system of identification for immigrants who come to this country. Credit card companies do a better job of collecting data and removing fraud than the United States government.

GLENN: But what a surprise. It's the capitalist system. Let me -- because we've only got a couple of minutes. Let me switch gears with you. Another thing that I'm very concerned about that I think Americans are -- I think everybody is understating this problem, the economy with the subprime nonsense. We are in real trouble here. Bush is now talking about bailing out these homeowners, but the homeowners aren't losing much. A lot of them came in with zero down. This is just a bailout and the company. Shouldn't we just let companies fail and if you took a risky loan, you bet, you bet wrong; move on?

GIULIANI: To a very large extend, that's correct, particularly from the point of view of the federal government and the President. The President has to focus on the pillars of our economy and make sure that those are being handled correctly and if they are, the market will straighten out the rest. The pillars of our economy are low taxes, smaller government, moderate regulation, and a sound monetary policy. So on this question of how much help should the market in general be given, that should really be determined by the Fed through the supply of money, and they have shown that they can do a pretty darn good job of that. That should not be the function of the congress and the President. And what the congress and the President should be working on, you know what would be really helpful right now for our economy? How about a tax cut? A tax cut would stimulate our economy in general and help it get through some of the dislocation that are being created in what is just a portion of our economy.

If you try to do a bailout, Glenn, what you are likely to do is have the problem spread beyond now where it is to the entire company. You don't with a that. There is a book out right now, The Forgotten Man, it would be great for everybody to read it because it shows and it's sort of a reanalysis of the history of the Great Depression, and the premise of the book basically is of course there was a depression and it was a really bad one, but it extended for a decade because of the wrong decisions made by Hoover and Roosevelt.

GLENN: We've been talking about it on this program for a couple of weeks.

GIULIANI: Intervening too much, creating massive government bureaucracies, raising taxes, putting in high tariffs. Sure as heck sounds like Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards to me. All three of them have promised to raise taxes, they all want to raise protectionist duties and regulation. So I think that would be the worst thing to do and I hope the President relies on an area where he's had great strength actually since he's been President, which is sticking with the fundamentals of the economy: Low taxes, reduce the burden of government, and see what you can do -- maybe a revision of Sarbanes-Oxley wouldn't be a bad idea. That would bring all kinds of IPO money to the United States, all kinds of investment money to the United States.

You know, if you are having trouble in one part of the economy, you shore up the entire economy so it remains just in one part of the economy, they work it out and you don't spread it to the rest.

GLENN: Mayor Giuliani, I know you have to run. Let me just leave you with this real quick. Every month we take a poll of all the guys on the staff, the radio and the television and my magazine. We took it yesterday. You won in a landslide, landslide.

GIULIANI: Well, I like that poll. I'm in Florida right now. We're trying to accomplish the same thing in Florida.

GLENN: Well, best of luck to you and we'll talk to you again, sir.

GIULIANI: Thank you.

Premium Member
207 Posts
Let's compare this super ID card to something that already exists. The iPhone was released by Apple after what had to be billions of dollars of R&D (I'm speculating) to keep it proprietary. A few teenagers hacked it in 2 months. The govt will spend much less than apple did on this and it'll take about a week for someone to hack it. Once they are available on the black market illegals will be able to cross the border in cars at the checkpoints.

We're heading for 1984 and I'll bet anyone $10 that Rudy is the next prez.

4,037 Posts
what works in NYC

Is not the solution for the rest of the country. Unfortunately with politics and all, if you are in NYC you have to get elected and to do so you must adopt NYC standards. I suspect Rudy when given the chance or IF given the change will have a more moderate view when considering the entire country.

Premium Member
1,049 Posts
Of the Republican choices that are in the running at this time I think Rudy would be one that I would trust to do good for America if possible.

His answers to questions seem to be his own thoughts and he doesn't seem to be tainted as some of the Senators and Governors running that have been in those jobs a long time and seem to quote party line sound bites.

I want to like Senator McCain, but he seems too liberal at times and I don't think he could win even though he could possibly be a good president.

I don't know enough about the other guys yet to make a good decision about them.
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