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During the December 5 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, discussing Pasadena, Texas, resident Joe Horn's November 17 killing of two illegal immigrants who were allegedly robbing his neighbor's home, host Bill O'Reilly stated: "All right, look, these two illegal aliens are dead because of Houston's sanctuary city policies. That's why they're dead. Not Horn. Horn panicked. Horn got emotional. He probably shouldn't have done what he did. I hope he's not prosecuted ... But these guys are dead because of chaotic immigration policies. That's why they're dead." O'Reilly also stated that the shooting "is an immigration issue in the sense that it never should have happened because these guys never should have been in the country."
O'Reilly's assertion that this incident is the fault of "sanctuary city policies" echoes his claim about the deaths of nine people -- one adult and nine children -- in a March 7 fire in the Bronx. As Media Matters for America documented, on the March 9 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, O'Reilly responded to a viewer email criticizing him for questioning the immigrant status of the children, by describing New York City as a "sanctuary city" and saying: "Now, if the federal government and the secular progressives and the open border crew and the ACLU all worked together, those people from Mali wouldn't have been here. Therefore, the children would be alive today." He concluded: "[T]hese kids are dead because of the pro-open border people. They're dead because of them. So, put that in your secular progressive pipe and you put it where the sun don't shine."
From the December 5 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
O'REILLY: It's an immigration issue in the sense that it never should have happened because these guys shouldn't have been in the country. All right? They never should have been in the country. So that's why it's an immigration issue. So they're dead, and Mr. Horn's life hangs in the balance because if he gets prosecuted and he gets convicted, he goes to jail for life, probably. So it never would have happened if the United States of America and Houston had control over the problem. It doesn't. But let's just walk through it here. Mr. Horn was believed -- because he said it on that 911 tape -- that he was within his rights to go out and shoot those individuals. Your research says what?
EDD HENDEE (Houston radio host): The research is that the "castle law," which was just amended and signed into law September 1, 2007, you have a right to defend your home and your neighbor's home and property and to respond with deadly force if you believe your life is in danger.
One of these men came across his property. There's no question. Bill, you're two and a half times more likely to be murdered in Houston, Texas than in New York City. Those are the statistics from 2005. We're in a war zone here.
O'REILLY: OK, how do you see it, Mr. Hernandez?
DANIEL HERNANDEZ (criminal defense attorney): Well, as far as the legal aspect of it, he wasn't in imminent danger. The -- and I've got to commend that 911 operator, who tried to calmly tell him to stay in his house.
The police showed up about 10 seconds after he shot those two men dead. As far as the immigration issue goes, that's correct. First, this is a crime issue. As far as the immigration issue is, you are 100 percent correct. We need to fix it.
Now you know, DPS [Texas Department of Public Safety] and ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] and ATF [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms] and FBI are trying to organize this deal to try to round up people with these fake IDs from Puerto Rico. Well, then we might as well start rounding up every single teenager that's ever had a fake ID to get beer. That's not going to work.
O'REILLY: Well, you know, I disagree -- no, I agree with you. I'm going to shock you, Mr. Hernandez. I agree with you. OK, it's got to start at the simple level of when Houston PD, Harris County sheriff, anybody, any local or state takes -- arrests an alien, all right, and they find out that they're either not in the country legally or they don't know, ICE gets a call right then and there. Because then, then you can confine the person. You can confine him. Go ahead.
HERNANDEZ: But here's the problem with that, Bill, is that they're going around, and they're arresting people on these Class C violations. Basically, what could happen is you could have somebody who is a resident, who is a citizen, who's here on a work visa, who --
O'REILLY: Well, then prove it.
HERNANDEZ: -- forgets their driver's license at home --
O'REILLY: Then prove it.
HERNANDEZ: -- gets pulled over. They get arrested. And they have to sit there, and we're spending millions of tax dollars --
O'REILLY: Now you're going off the deep end. Mr. Hernandez, if they can prove it, then ICE doesn't want to get involved. ICE has got it right up to here with --
HERNANDEZ: I understand, but --
O'REILLY: -- people who are in this country illegally. All right, let me go back to you, Mr. Hendee.
HERNANDEZ: But do we want to spend that kind of money?
O'REILLY: Yeah, we do. We want to protect some lives here.
All right, look, these two illegal aliens are dead because of Houston's sanctuary city policies. That's why they're dead. Not Horn. Horn panicked. Horn got emotional. He probably shouldn't have done what he did. I hope he's not prosecuted. I don't think he will be because the law is too murky here.
But these guys are dead because of chaotic immigration policies. That's why they're dead. Now, Mr. Hendee --
HERNANDEZ: Well, they're --
O'REILLY: Look, look, I don't get Houston. I don't get Houston. OK? Because I agree with you. Everybody knows the crime problem. Everybody knows the illegal alien thing's out of control. Then why do they elect a guy like [Houston Mayor Bill] White? And why is [Harold L.] Hurtt the police chief there?