CBS's Smith: Is Arizona Immigration Law Like 'Nazi Germany'?
Filling in for host Bob Schieffer on Sunday's Face the Nation on CBS, Early Show co-host Harry Smith grilled former Republican Congressman J.D. Hayworth on Arizona's new immigration law: "Some people would contend that this law in Arizona is racist in nature. Some have equated it even with Jews having to carry identification during Nazi Germany. How do you respond to that?" [Audio available here]
Hayworth shot down the absurd comparison: "That is overblown rhetoric. And it's a tool that's been used before....what's going on is a deliberate distortion to move this from a question of enforcement to one of ethnicity. It's not the case. I read you the language of the bill-" Smith interrupted: "But hang on second...J.D. let me ask you this. If you were Hispanic and you were walking down the street today in Arizona, would you have some concern if a squad car drove by?"
Only minutes earlier, Hayworth had read from the Arizona law, citing a key provision that directly contradicted Smith's assertions: "It says the law, quote, 'shall be implemented in a matter consistent with federal laws regulating immigration, protecting the civil rights of all persons, and respecting the privileges and immunities of United States citizens.'"
Hayworth attempted to reiterate that point: "The law is very finely crafted, protecting-" Smith again interrupted: "It was amended Friday." Hayworth replied: "because good people of good will want to go the extra mile to ensure there is not a hint of racism here."
After having badgered Hayworth, Smith turned to his other guest, Democratic Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez, who declared: "Look, the law the discriminatory.... We're not criminals. We've come here to sweat and to toil and to work hard....And to say that somehow we are all this criminal element and to target us with the discriminatory law is just wrong."
Smith went back to Hayworth and touted the "unintended consequences" of the law: "We have different groups deciding to boycott, move their - move their events and even conventions out of Arizona to other states. There's even talk about wanting to move the all-star game out of - out of Phoenix. Certainly, that wasn't anticipated when this law was passed?"
Early in the segment, Smith lobbed softball at Gutierrez. He cited the Congressman's arrest at an immigration protest outside the White House and sympathetically wondered: "why did you want to be arrested yesterday?"
Moments later, Hayworth attempted to ask Gutierrez a real question: "Luis, do you think illegal aliens have done anything wrong by being in this country without authorization?" Smith intervened and offered Gutierrez an out: "Do you want to answer that?" The Congressman dodged: "Well, here's what I would like to say. I think it's time that we have a discussion and a debate, an earnest one."
Smith did follow up: "But the people who are here illegally, should they be allowed to be here?" Gutierrez again refused to give a direct answer: "The fact is, the federal government, and Mr. Hayworth was a member of Congress for many years when his party was in the majority and passed many laws. They didn't go away....People want to think that if we pass harsh laws, they're just going to go away. That's not going to happen."
Here is a full transcript of the segment:
HARRY SMITH: Now we turn to the other major story in the country this weekend, the uproar over the new Arizona immigration law. Former Arizona Congressman J.D. Hayworth is a proponent of that law. He is in Phoenix. Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez was part of the protest yesterday in Washington. In fact, he was arrested outside the White House. But he is here with us this morning. Good morning, gentlemen.
LUIS GUTIERREZ: Good morning.
HAYWORTH: Good morning.
SMITH: Congressman, why did you want to be arrested yesterday?
GUTIERREZ: My arrest was part of a response to what I consider the immorality of our broken immigration system. We were protesting the fact that hundreds of thousands of immigrant families have been destroyed. Husbands losing their wives. There are 4 million, Harry, American citizen children whose parents have either been deported or are under threat of deportation. It's time to make families sacrosanct once again and to fix our immigration system. So I was arrested yesterday because it was time, I thought, to escalate and to elevate the level of awareness and consciousness for all of those who tried to reach our shores and can't because our system is broken.
SMITH: Let me ask Mr. Hayworth this question. This new law in Arizona, is it really designed to get rid of undocumented people or is it designed to get the attention of the government so that there is, in fact, some sort of comprehensive new immigration law passed?
HAYWORTH: Well, Harry, I would suggest that the law here in Arizona is designed, quite simply, to enforce federal law. And I think what has been going on here has been a massive disinformation campaign and distortion. For example, let me read directly from the law. It says the law, quote, 'shall be implemented in a matter consistent with federal laws regulating immigration, protecting the civil rights of all persons, and respecting the privileges and immunities of United States citizens.' The key phrase 'protecting the civil rights of all persons.' So what we're getting here is distortion.
And with all due respect, to hear Luis offer his evaluation, I can recall when Luis derided the 'amnesty' saying, quote,'there's an implication that you did something wrong and you need to be forgiven.' So I think the real question this morning is for Luis. Luis, do you think illegal aliens have done anything wrong by being in this country without authorization?
SMITH: Do you want to answer that?
GUTIERREZ: Well, here's what I would like to say. I think it's time that we have a discussion and a debate, an earnest one. Let me tell you what I propose. I want to end illegal immigration as we know it. How would I propose to do that? I think you have to go after employers that hire undocumented workers and be very severe with them.
I'll tell you something, Harry, the same Social Security card that my granddad got in the '30s is the same one my grandson, who is 7 years old, just got. It's time to bring new technology to make sure that everyone that works in America has a Social Security card. So I'm ready to give a little blood and a little DNA to prove that I'm legally working in the United States of America. That way we end the workers from being able to get those jobs.
SMITH: But the people who are here illegally, should they - should they be allowed to be here?
GUTIERREZ: Here's what I'm going to say. You see, J.D. Hayworth wants to say, if we just pass these laws, they're going to go away. The fact is, the federal government, and Mr. Hayworth was a member of Congress for many years when his party was in the majority and passed many laws. They didn't go away.
The fact is the following. People want to think that if we pass harsh laws, they're just going to go away. That's not going to happen. They have roots in the community. There are millions of American citizen children. And so what I say, make them learn English. Make them pay a fine. Make them pay into our system. And then put them on the track so that there's some relationship between what they did and the punishment.
SMITH: Okay. But I would guess, Mr. Hayworth, your contention was that doesn't really deal with the roots of the problem, which is a border that is porous, through which millions of people come into the country.
HAYWORTH: Harry, border security is national security. And it's not only illegals coming northward from Mexico, we've been getting Chinese. We've been getting people from the Middle East. There is huge criminal component. Just Friday afternoon, a Pinal County sheriff's deputy wounded, apparently surprising drug smugglers. Now 17 people in detention. Three of them persons of interest in the shooting of the deputy sheriff. This is a major problem. And for Luis to suggest that somehow we need to forgive people coming into the country illegally, that's the root of the problem. When you enforce the law, people respond to the law.
GUTIERREZ: And here's what I'm saying, look, I want to secure that border. But the fact is, Harry, 10 years ago, there were 10,000 Border Patrol agents, there's 20. Ten years ago there were no fences. Some places we've tripled the fences. It's not working. Because in the end, it is the jobs here in the United States that they're able to obtain-
SMITH: That's the magnet.
GUTIERREZ: -that brings them. It's that magnet. But let me just be very clear. I'm ready to triple that border. I'm ready to put more Border Patrol agents. Won't people like J.D. join us in a comprehensive plan so that we can take the 12 million that are here, legalize them, make them pay taxes, know who they are, fingerprint them, because I'm with J.D., I don't like criminals. But the people that J.D. is dealing with, they're drug smugglers. They're criminals. They're vicious, ruthless people. And I want to combat them with J.D.
SMITH: Okay. J.D., let me ask you this. Some people would contend that this law in Arizona is racist in nature. Some have equated it even with Jews having to carry identification during Nazi Germany. How do you respond to that?
J.D. HAYWORTH: That is overblown rhetoric. And it's a tool that's been used before. Former State Senator and immigration activist - or amnesty activist Alfredo Gutierrez put it this way, and I quote: 'We call things racism just to get attention. We reduce complicated problems to racism, not because it's racism, but because it works,' close quote.
Now, Harry, what's going on is a deliberate distortion to move this from a question of enforcement to one of ethnicity. It's not the case. I read you the language of the bill-
SMITH: But hang on second. Let me ask you - J.D. let me ask you this.
SMITH: If you were Hispanic and you were walking down the street today in Arizona, would you have some concern if a squad car drove by?
HAYWORTH: No, I would not, because there has to be reasonable suspicion. The law is very finely crafted, protecting-
SMITH: It was amended - it was amended Friday.
HAYWORTH: Because - because - because good people of good will want to go the extra mile to ensure there is not a hint of racism here.
SMITH [TO GUTIERREZ]: Okay, go ahead.
LUIS GUTIERREZ: And I would just say the following-
HAYWORTH: The other point-
GUTIERREZ: And I would just say the following, Harry. Look, the law the discriminatory. It's the way - the Latino community, the immigrant community, they feel like, 'God, you know, what about all those - all that garlic and grapes and onions we picked? What about the meat slaughter houses where we prepare the meat for the American public?'
Look, even in my district, you can find all the little carriages, and we see all those beautiful little babies of American citizens being raised by immigrants. We're not criminals. We've come here to sweat and to toil and to work hard. Yes, some of us cross that border and some of us overstayed our visa. But, by and large, we love this country. And to say that somehow we are all this criminal element and to target us with the discriminatory law is just wrong.
And what it's done is it's galvanized and unified. And in the end, doesn't it speak to, sadly, the lack of action of the federal government, the lack of action of us taking this core issue that's our responsibility?
SMITH: On those things - on that, I think, you can both probably agree. But, on the other hand, Mr. Hayworth, this notion that this - the passage of this law is having all kinds of unintended consequences. We have different groups deciding to boycott, move their - move their events and even conventions out of Arizona to other states. There's even talk about wanting to move the all-star game out of - out of Phoenix. Certainly, that wasn't anticipated when this law was passed?
HAYWORTH: Well, again, what Arizona wanted to do, dealing with the frustration of Washington D.C. - for example, my opponent, John McCain, has wafted between inaction and embracing amnesty. And there is a need to enforce the law in Arizona.
Now, you spoke of a boycott. What I heard from friends in California the other day is that they want to start a buy-cott, actually come to Arizona to reaffirm the fact that Arizona - all we're doing is enforcing federal law, enforcing laws on the books.
GUTIERREZ: And none of that solves the problem.
HAYWORTH: And as we've heard from Luis - excuse me. As we've heard from Luis, he wants to forgive law-breaking. The first act of people, no matter their later motivation, in coming to the country without authorization, is to break our laws.
Immigration policy, border security, and national security are synonymous. Crime is on the increase. Arizonans have had enough. And interestingly, a majority of Hispanics agree that this law should be enforced here in Arizona, those living here-
SMITH: J.D., hang on. Luis, I'm going to give you the final word.
GUTIERREZ: Thank you. The Cato Institute, not conservative, libertarian, says crime is down, statistically. Look, it's a red herring. The fact is, I want to secure that border, Washington D.C. has to get involved in securing that border.
Look, what is the greatest tool the police have in combating crime? I hate those drug dealers. I hate those involved in human smuggling. But the greatest asset that the police have are the eyes and the ears of the public. Let's not drive a wedge between the police and the public in general. And that's all. You know who's happy with that law? Criminals and drug dealers. I want to end illegal immigration as we know it. I hope J.D. will - will join me in that effort.
SMITH: Congressman, thank you very much. J.D., we do appreciate your time this morning. Thank you very much.
HAYWORTH: Harry, thank you.
[FOOTAGE OF PROTEST AGAINST ARIZONA LAW]
-Kyle Drennen is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.