FOX News Channel Interview - Transcript
MS. KELLY: Well, New York's governor wants to give drivers' licenses to illegal immigrants, but presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani is now calling for a federal law that would stop that program dead in its tracks, in New York or any other state.
RUDY GIULIANI (former New York City mayor and Republican presidential candidate): The idea is that the federal government is supposed to secure the borders. The federal government is supposed to regulate immigration. If we had 50 different regulations for immigration in the United States, it would become -- the picture that we have right now, which is a very, very confusing picture.
MS. KELLY: Well, Giuliani called on New York Congressman Peter King to introduce the legislation and the congressman plans to do exactly that. He joins us now.
Congressman, thanks so much for being here with us.
REP. KING: Thank you, Megyn.
MS. KELLY: Okay. So you plan on actually doing this; you think it's a good idea. Why?
REP. KING: Actually, I had started doing this about a week ago and then Rudy and I had a long conversation yesterday and we decided to coordinate our efforts and I am supporting Rudy for president in a full disclaimer. Why? Because two weeks when Eliot Spitzer, Governor Spitzer met with Secretary Chertoff, Secretary Chertoff made it clear that homeland security is opposed to giving drivers' licenses to illegal immigrants, but nothing in federal law allows the government to stop it. So I wanted to fill that void in the law because this is a homeland security issue. It's an illegal immigration issue, and you can't be giving any type of government ID to people who are here illegally. It makes it harder to, first of all, control illegal immigration and it gives potential terrorists the opportunity to travel around the country a lot more easily.
In fact, not only that, in New York, the state motor vehicle commissioner said that he believed this driver's license could be used to purchase guns, so we'd be giving illegal immigrants the opportunity to purchase weapons by use of this by the governor's own commissioner.
MS. KELLY: Let me ask you this: Governor, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, a Republican, he tried to introduce this down in Florida; it didn't pass, but let me just tell you what his rationale for it was and let me get you to respond. He said, "We shouldn't allow the illegals to come into our country to begin with, but once they're here, what do you do? Do you say they're lepers to society, that they don't exist? It seems a policy that ignores them is a policy of denial."
REP. KING: I think the main policy has to be stop the illegal immigration and if you give a driver's license, which is a privilege, if you give that to an illegal immigrant, you're rewarding illegal behavior and you're encouraging more illegal immigrants to come into the country.
We have to make it clear that we are not going to be making it more hospitable for illegal immigrants here. Listen, many of these people are good people, but the reality is as a country, we have to secure the border and to be encouraging or giving any type of tacit approval to an illegal immigrant being here, to me, is counterproductive and it's dangerous to our national security and to our homeland security.
MS. KELLY: And now I should point out for the record that we invited a representative from Governor Spitzer's office to come on; they declined. So -- unsuccessful in having a truly fair and balanced debate, but congressman let me ask you this. Is this in any way a shot at Senator Clinton, who, of course, sort of waffled at the last debate on where she stands on it? She said she supports Governor Spitzer, but she wouldn't say whether, in fact, she supported the program or not. Are you at all taking aim at her or do you think Giuliani is?
REP. KING: No. It's not a shot at Senator Clinton, but her debate what it did do is it served the purpose of highlighting this issue and, you know, getting it out in the national debate. This was an intense debate in New York state for the last five or six weeks. Now, that it's on the national level, it's good government and it's good politics to take hold of something while the public is focused on it and move it forward.
So I am using the opportunity of last week's debate with Senator Clinton as an opportunity to move this legislation and also to make it part of the presidential debate because the American people feel disenfranchised because the issues that they talk about at home often are not spoken about by candidates. Everybody is talking about illegal immigration and now they're talking about the drivers' licenses. Let's have the candidates talk about it and at the same time let's get a bill through Congress.
MS. KELLY: All right. You got us talking about it. Congressman Pete King, thanks so much for being here with us.
REP. KING: Thank you, Megyn.