Fox Attacks California For “Sanctuary State” Law That Doesn't Exist

Geraldo Rivera Explains How Law Would Have Encouraged Drug Rehabilitation

On the October 16 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Eric Bolling and Republican Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach attacked a proposed California law that would have allowed convicted drug offenders to enter rehabilitation programs rather than facing deportation -- without acknowledging that the bill was actually vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown days earlier, to the dismay of advocacy groups like Human Rights Watch. Fox's Geraldo Rivera attempted to explain to the men that the legislation is intended to help drug offenders “get clean,” but Bolling and Kobach fixated on concerns that California was becoming a “sanctuary state” for undocumented immigrants with criminal records:

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ERIC BOLLING (HOST): California law, a new law makes it more difficult to deport convicted illegals and, I guess, convicted immigrants. What's Jerry Brown going here for, sir? 

KRIS KOBACH: Well, what this new law does in California is it says if you are -- it applies actually more often to people who are legally here. And under federal law, if you are convicted of certain felony offenses, including drug offenses, you are supposed to be deported. And so what California is trying to do is undermine the federal law by erasing the conviction, even though the person was actually convicted. And it's just another example of California trying to undermine our immigration laws. This is on top of the fact --

BOLLING: It sounds like California wants to be not a group of “sanctuary cities,” Geraldo, it wants to be a “sanctuary state.”

GERALDO RIVERA: I disagree with the Secretary's characterization. And this is the reason. I think that we can all understand what happens here. In drug cases specifically, as you know, Eric, you can have a drug diversion program. In other words, you plead guilty, then you go into the rehab. If you are in the successful rehab, six months later your conviction is expunged. The problem is that once -- you have to plead guilty to get into the drug diversion program. What this law attempts to do is allow you to plead guilty and enter the drug diversion program and then get clean and right with the law later. But it's that moment of pleading guilty that makes you eligible and vulnerable to deportation. That's what Jerry Brown was going for.

BOLLING: And shouldn't it be, Chris?

KOBACH: Yeah exactly. I mean, this is the point. Congress sets federal immigration law and decides who among those who are legally here oversteps a line and says, “okay, too bad, you screwed up. You're going to be deported.”

RIVERA: The net effect is you won't have people going into drug diversion programs. That's the net effect, and that's why Jerry Brown, who's not a liberal --

KOBACH: Federal law says if you commit a drug offense, you are out of this country, and California says we don't like that. But note this Geraldo, not only is California breaking-- undermining that federal law, they are flat out breaking another federal law giving in-state tuition to illegal aliens, and they are also creating sanctuary policies that violate federal law, preventing police from cooperating.


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