CNN Lou Dobbs Tonight-Transcript
DOBBS: Critics of the so-called grand compromise on illegal immigration legislation says that the bill simply won't protect our borders and, as we've reported, it's demonstrable.
Last week Republican congressmen Brian Bilbray, Pete King, Lamar Smith, introduced their own legislation. They say their bill raises border security and enforces existing immigration laws.
One of those authors and sponsors, Congressman Pete King of New York, joins us.
Congressman, good to have you.
REP. PETE KING (R), NEW YORK: Good to be here, Lou.
DOBBS: How could you entitle a bill "Security First"? What a terrible idea.
KING: Well, it certainly is terrible to the House of Lords, the Senate, who has this very elitist view.
Listen, the overwhelming majority of American people are right, we have to secure the border first. It's common sense. No matter how anyone feels about immigration, quite frankly, I'm a supporter of immigration.
But we have to stop illegal immigration. We can't be giving amnesty. The Senate bill is a hoax and a charade, and it has to be stopped.
DOBBS: You said you're a supporter of immigration. Now for the life of me, I don't know how anyone could not support immigration. In this country, we bring in over two million people a year legally into this country, and people act as if we curtail illegal immigration, somehow or other we're restrictionists. It's sort of an interesting mindset and gives you sort of the sense of the entitlement that they want to propagate.
But you use an interesting expression referring to the Senate, the House of Lords, the elitists. Talking with Senator Cornyn, Senator McCaskill, who voted against cloture, two, as I said, two of the most thoughtful senators in the -- in that august body.
But the elitism that's here, we're seeing it with corporate America trying to exact its influence, as well. What do you see as driving the Democratic leadership of the Senate here?
KING: Democratic leadership -- this is the politically correct route to go. Politically correct in that the intelligentsia want this. The liberal left in their part, which is their base, their driving force, wants this. They see this as being potentially more Democratic voters.
And also many people in the Democratic leadership do want open borders. So that's their excuse.
The excuse of the Republican side is it's corporate America, big business America wants the cheap labor.
DOBBS: And -- and with that before us, why in the world can the American people, American citizens, 250 to 280 million people who describe themselves as middle class folks, the kind of people you represent, Congressman, how is it they can't find any representation on that big ol' Hill?
KING: It -- this has caused a terrible disconnect between the American people and the elected officials. Of course, this is the frustration I sense when I -- I'm home every weekend in my district in -- on Long Island, Massapequa, Levittown, Babylon, going through streets. This is all people are talking about.
And it's not even that they're against the Senate bill. They're saying, how is this allowed to happen? Why is it happening? Isn't anyone listening to us? And so this is a real disconnect. And that's even almost a larger issue than the merits of the bill, which are bad enough. But the fact is, it's a lack of confidence. DOBBS: If this is going to come out of the Senate, can it be stopped in the House?
KING: Yes, Nancy Pelosi says that she will not move it unless there are 60 or 70 Republican votes. Now -- right now, there are nowhere near 60 to 70 Republican votes. It's interesting. If they thought it was a popular bill, I wouldn't be looking for cover from the Republicans.
But it's going to be a tough fight. If it does pass the Senate, then all the fury is going to come down on us in the House.
DOBBS: What should people at people listening to Congressman Pete King right now do?
KING: They should contact their senators. Contact them and get on the phone. And remind them if they're coming home for a Fourth of July parade next week, it's going to be a very hostile homecoming.
DOBBS: Congressman Pete King, good to have you here.
KING: Thank you.
DOBBS: Thank you.