Rep. Bachmann On Dragging Undocumented Immigrants Onto Buses In Front Of Crying Children: "It Can Be Done"
In an effort to define herself as the conservative candidate remaining in the GOP presidential primary race, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) took an especially hardline stance on immigration policy in a discussion with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly last night.
Bachmann deflected O'Reilly's concerns about the children of immigrants she would deport by fear-mongering about the imagined problem of "anchor babies." O'Reilly then pressed Bachmann on the humanitarian issue of mass deportations: "I'm just saying on a human basis, I don't think that — theory is one thing. Dragging people out, putting them on a bus with their children's crying can be quite something else." Her cold response was simply, "It can be done."
Bachmann went on to argue that the deportations are a consequence of breaking the law, and that as a "First World nation," it's our duty to send illegal immigrants packing.
O'REILLY: Look, if you pick up some guy in a car, and he's an illegal alien — he's got three kids at home — what are you gonna do, throw him and his kids on a bus the next day? Is that what you're gonna do? Can you imagine that?
BACHMANN: Well Bill, what we have to do is end the practice of anchor babies in the United States. That's when illegal aliens come in —
O'REILLY: You've got to pass a law for that.
BACHMANN: We've got to pass a law that will end that practice.
O'REILLY: All of them that are here now are going to be an enormous problem to deal with. Because there are a lot of people here who've been here for a lot of years. And if you're gonna start dragging them out of here, it's gonna be very, very difficult to do that.
BACHMANN: But remember they broke the law to get in here, there is a consequence —
O'REILLY: I'm not justifying it. I'm just saying on a human basis, I don't think that — theory is one thing. Dragging people out, putting them on a bus with their children's crying can be quite something else.
BACHMANN: It can be done. That's the thing, it can be done.
O'REILLY: It can be done, but at what cost?
Bachmann further fleshed out her policies on immigration with typical right-wing distortions of reality. She first cited columnist Mark Steyn, who wrote one glib line last week saying that "50 percent of Mexico's population has moved north of the border." Given that Mexico's total 2010 population was over 112 million people, Steyn was clearly using this number in a hyperbolic fit of sarcasm. Nevertheless, Bachmann tried to preach it to O'Reilly's audience as the gospel truth. She followed this up by referencing a statistic from the anti-immigrant hate group Federation for American Immigration Reform, which produced a study saying that illegal immigration costs the U.S. $113 billion a year. Critics have debunked their study, claiming their methodology was flawed and "vastly overstates the costs of illegal immigration."