On the March 12 edition of his Fox News television show, Bill O'Reilly again blamed what he referred to as the “compassion crowd” of “open borders, blanket amnesty,” for the “chaotic immigration system” that “directly caused the deaths” of several children -- whose immigration status O'Reilly said he did not know -- in a March 7 fire in the Bronx.
Additionally, during a conversation with Fox News analysts Michelle Malkin and Kirsten Powers, O'Reilly stated: "[L]ook, I live 22 miles outside of the city. In my neighborhood, if you have 17 children living in a home, a dilapidated home like that with no sprinkler," “no fire escape,” and “no way out,” "[t]he authorities are on that in a heartbeat." Powers countered, saying: “There was no violation. There's nothing to call in. And it could happen in my neighborhood, because I live in New York City. I live in Brooklyn. And in New York City, there were no violations.” She later said that “there are legal citizens living in the same exact environment.”
O'Reilly's comments were first noted by the weblog News Hounds.
As Media Matters for America documented, O'Reilly offered similar criticism on the March 9 edition of the program, during which he attacked a viewer who complained about O'Reilly's claim that the children killed “may be illegal aliens,” by asserting: “Your so-called compassion helped kill those kids.”
Additionally, 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 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 March 12 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
O'REILLY: In the “Factor Follow Up” segment tonight, as we reported on Friday, 10 children and an adult were killed in a horrendous Bronx fire last week after a small row house went up in flames.
Living in that house, 22 people -- 17 of them children. Some of those kids were buried today in a heartbreaking ceremony.
Now, New York City is a sanctuary city, so we don't know much about these children. But there is no question they were living in terrible conditions. The building had no fire escape, no sprinkler system.
My opinion is this is another example of people dying because of a chaotic immigration system. Last year, 453 people were killed trying to cross the southern border -- all victims of the desert or criminals preying upon them.
In addition, a study by the General Accounting Office of 55,000 incarcerated illegal aliens says that group committed more than 700,000 crimes here in the USA, and all of the crimes had victims.
With us now: here in New York, Fox News analyst Kirsten Powers and, in Washington, Michelle Malkin, also a Fox News analyst.
Now, on Friday, Geraldo Rivera and I had -- and you saw it, I think, Michelle -- very intense discussion about compassion -- compassion. The compassion crowd of open borders, blanket amnesty say that you just have to leave the illegal immigrants alone and let them do what, you know, what they should do to make a living. They're poor. They're hard working.
Then I see this. Then I see this in New York. Now, in your neighborhood, Michelle, could 22 people be in a 3,000-foot row house straight up -- most of the footage in the height -- with two bathrooms. Could that happen in your neighborhood?
MALKIN: No, it wouldn't happen, because there's an attitude in most neighborhoods where people follow the laws and where there's trust with the police that you don't look the other way.
And I think in sanctuary cities like New York City and every other major metropolis in the United States, that's the, either, de facto or official policy of these cities adopted by the city councils or the police departments, that not only are the police not supposed to ask questions or care about the immigration status of people in their neighborhoods, but no government official or public servant is supposed to ask these questions.
MALKIN: And I understand that --
O'REILLY: And that's -- right. That's -- look, I live 22 miles outside of the city. In my neighborhood, if you have 17 children living in a home, a dilapidated home like that with no sprinkler, all right, no fire escape, no way out -- the building was built in 1901 -- the authorities are on that in a heartbeat in my neighborhood and yours and in Kirsten's neighborhood, I believe, as well.
The reason they're not on it in a heartbeat in the Bronx is because of the don't-ask, don't-tell policy when it comes to suspected illegal immigrants or suspected immigrants -- that the city basically says, “We're not going to ask them anything.”
O'REILLY: And I believe this directly caused the deaths of those poor little children -- that nobody was looking out for them. Because you don't cram 22 people into a situation like that and think nothing bad's going to happen.
O'REILLY: Now, how do you see it, Kirsten?
POWERS: Well, there was no violation. There's nothing to call in. And it could happen in my neighborhood, because I live in New York City. I live in Brooklyn. And in New York City, there were no violations. It's not a violation not to have sprinklers in homes like this. It's not a violation not to have a second exit.
If -- in Boston or Chicago, it would be a violation, so this isn't about --
O'REILLY: Can I correct you?
POWERS: This isn't about -- this isn't about illegal immigration.
POWERS: There are people that are living in houses like this all over New York City.
O'REILLY: And that's wrong. They're putting their children in jeopardy.
POWERS: But it's a building code thing. It has nothing to do with illegal immigration.
O'REILLY: It's not a building code thing; it's a social services thing.
POWERS: There are plenty of illegal -- there are legal citizens living in the same exact environment.
O'REILLY: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, let me get this straight. You're -- wait a minute. I'll get -- you'll have the last word, Michelle.
Let me get this straight. You're OK --
O'REILLY: -- with 22 people in a row house -- 17 children. You're OK with that?
POWERS: No, I'm not OK with it. What I'm saying is it doesn't have anything to do with illegal immigration.
From the March 9 edition of Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:
O'REILLY: Now, I got this letter from Richard Walsh in Brooklyn, New York: “Bill, you reported the Bronx fire that killed nine African immigrants -- eight children, one adult -- were or may not have been illegal immigrants. Why don't you report the facts only? You use this terrible tragedy to advance your illegal immigration agenda. Nice spinning.”
OK, number one: We can't get the facts because New York won't give us the facts. It's a sanctuary city. We suspect they're illegal, at least some of them. But here's really, Mr. Walsh -- and I hope you're listening on [New York radio station] WOR -- here it is: These people died -- the eight children died -- because they were in a chaotic home. Seventeen children were in two small apartments, OK? That is against the law.
In the apartments was a man from Mali, West Africa. We don't know whether he's here illegally or not, because New York City won't tell us. The man had two wives -- two wives -- in the apartment: one on the upper floor, one on the lower floor, OK. That's against the law.
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. Are you getting this, Mr. Walsh? And all of you bleeding hearts out there? When you let people in unsupervised to the United States of America in conditions like this, they are going to get hurt. I am calling for controlled immigration, stopping the madness and chaos, to protect children. To protect them.
So, you be -- you can be your little liberal feeling good about the immigrants all day long, but it's guys like you who are hurting these people. If they couldn't come here and live in this kind of squalor and chaos, they would be alive. Are we getting it? Everybody getting it?
Boy, this makes me mad. You know, because these people hide behind, “Oh, I'm a liberal. I'm so kind. And that O'Reilly's a bad man, because he wants to control immigration. No. We should let everyone on Earth here. Let them all come here and do whatever they want to do. We have no right to build a wall or put the National Guard or raid businesses that hire illegals. We have no right to do that. So, we'll keep 17 little kids in a Bronx tenement. That's what we'll have. That's good, isn't it?”
You know, I'm telling ya. I'm telling ya, it's part of the culture war. Every day of my life, I see this. You got this portion of our society that is so blind, so ridiculous, and they absolutely are having an effect. And they, you know, these -- I'm telling ya. These 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. You know, I'm really angry.
You know, I don't mean to take it out on Richard Walsh. I'm sure he's a good guy. But this kind of thinking, I'm telling ya -- and it's everywhere. It's everywhere. I get to deal with it every day. I'm the bad guy.