Smerconish suggested "law enforcement ought to step in" at immigration demonstrations and consider "gathering ... up" illegal immigrantsApril 11, 2006 12:09 PM EDT ››› JOE BROWN
Substituting for host Joe Scarborough on the April 10 edition of MSNBC's Scarborough Country, Philadelphia-based radio host Michael Smerconish suggested that "maybe law enforcement ought to step in" at pro-immigration demonstrations -- such as those that took place in Washington, D.C., and other U.S. cities on April 10 -- and consider "gathering ... up" illegal immigrants. Smerconish wondered why there was "zero discussion" of "gathering them up" at the demonstrations, when "[a]ll I keep hearing is how would we ever find them?" He then suggested that law enforcement officials are being hypocritical by refusing to "gather ... up" illegal immigrants because they would "step in and do something about" a rally of "pot smokers" who "wanted decriminalization" of marijuana, or "scofflaws" with unpaid parking tickets.
Smerconish's remarks echo those of Fox News host David Asman (documented by Media Matters for America here), who, on the April 10 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, suggested that the demonstrations were "the perfect time to round up these lawbreakers and ship them out."
From the April 10 edition of MSNBC's Scarborough Country, which featured MSNBC host Tucker Carlson:
SMERCONISH: Well I'm glad, at the outset, that you didn't describe them as "undocumented," because I feel no need to be PC [politically correct] here tonight. These folks --
CARLSON: Of course not.
SMERCONISH: -- regardless of what we do, they're here illegally. But here's my question: Why is there zero discussion of the notion, that well, OK, hundreds of thousands of illegals here -- maybe law enforcement ought to step in. All I keep hearing is, how would we ever find them? Well, you can find them today, but nobody wants to talk about gathering them up.
CARLSON: Well, I think that -- personally, my feeling is -- the more central question is: Why not build a wall? I mean, why not end this easy access point along our southern border. All of us can then relax and make rational decisions about immigration.
But you can't at this point, because we've no control over our borders. This is the point I brought up time and again to people we were interviewing this afternoon. And we got the same series of answers. One, you know, why should we abide by the border? This is, you know, I have a right to work anywhere I want. Two, I am coming here because of the money the United States spent in the '80s in Central America fostering all these civil wars. Therefore, it's America's fault that I've come to your country illegally. That is a very common view, at least of the people I've spoken to recently.
SMERCONISH: But Tucker, if you had a couple hundred thousand, you know, pot smokers -- people who wanted decriminalization --
SMERCONISH: -- of marijuana getting together. Or, OK, let's make it less criminally invasive -- let's say scofflaws, you know, people with parking tickets getting together across the country. I've got to believe that law enforcement would say, "Hey, there they are. Let's step in and do something about it."