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Alan Colmes and Juan Williams Teach The Conservatives A Lesson On Immigration

Reported by Ellen - June 8, 2007 -

There’s nothing that warms my News Hounds heart more than watching liberals standing up to the loud-mouthed conservatives on FOX News. Last night (6/7/07), Alan Colmes and Juan Williams were at the top of their games as they destroyed the anti immigration-bill arguments of Sean Hannity and Mark Steyn.

Williams started out strong from the get-go when he almost laughed in Hannity’s face at the notion that the just-reported death of the immigration bill was a good thing. He accused conservatives of killing the bill for political reasons, rather than trying to work toward the betterment of the country. “That’s why President Bush said just the other day the people who are trying to block this bill don’t care about America. They’re not doing what’s best for America.”

Hannity exists on a daily diet of accusing his political opponents of harming America. But what he dishes out, he can’t take. “I find that rhetoric absolutely abhorrent and insulting,” he replied to Williams. Oh, really? Then maybe he’d like to stop using it so often, himself. You can contact Hannity at hannity@foxnews.com and remind him of some of the “abhorrent rhetoric” he has used: “you cut-and-run, you cheap shot, weak on homeland security and national defense Democrats” (3/19/06); “Your party and your leaders are undermining the troops” (12/9/05); and “I have words for you liberals… Stop stabbing our troops in the back, stop emboldening our enemies” (3/17/07).

I was enjoying the segment already. But it really got going (from my point of view) as Steyn trotted out the conservative talking point that the planned attack on Fort Dix had “an illegal immigration component.”

Steyn is another FOX News pundit whose main credential seems to be a brash form of conservatism. He’s a high-school dropout with a history of faulty judgment. As Britain’s Guardian Unlimited reported,

Apart from predicting that George Bush would win the 2000 presidential election in a landslide, Steyn said at regular intervals that Osama bin Laden "will remain dead". Weeks after the invasion of Iraq he assured his readers that there would be "no widespread resentment at or resistance of the western military presence"; in December 2003 he wrote that "another six weeks of insurgency sounds about right, after which it will peter out"; and the following March he insisted that: "I don't think it's possible for anyone who looks at Iraq honestly to see it as anything other than a success story."

Steyn’s interjection of the Fort Dix incident just happened to come at the same time that Colmes took over the discussion. Colmes matched Williams’ fire. “The Fort Dix guys had nothing to do with the border. They came over 20 years ago, Mark. They came when they were one, four and six years old. Don’t make it an immigration issue when it’s not,” Colmes said simply but forcefully.

As Steyn moved on to blame the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon on illegal immigration, Colmes pointed out that the hijackers entered the country legally. “This has nothing to do with illegal immigration and you know it… This is a false argument and you know it.”

Williams jumped in. “This is a distraction!" he said heatedly. "This is not about the issue of immigration in our country.” He pointed out that most of the 9/11 hijackers were in the country legally. “You’re just so strongly anti-immigrant, you don’t even want to engage in a rational argument.”

“Oh, stop it,” Hannity butted in.

Thankfully, neither Williams nor Colmes paid him any attention. Instead, they went on to detail how the bill was not the kind of amnesty the likes of Steyn were alleging. Williams and Colmes also pointed out the ways in which the bill dealt with issues that will now be left unaddressed. Colmes concluded by saying, “Give me the better plan. Tell me what the better plan is, Mark Steyn. Tell me what the better plan is because I haven’t heard one.”

Steyn gave no specifics other than to say that the US should do what other countries do, have an “efficient system” plus “border enforcement.”

“What do you want to do about the people already here?” Colmes asked.

Steyn lamely replied, “You basically seal the borders… and then effectively you deal with the people who are here.” He offered no thoughts about what comprises the kind of efficient, effective system he was calling for.

Williams jumped in again. “This guy doesn’t know what to say to you, Alan, and so this is what you get. You get nothing. He has no plan, no rational way to deal with this and of course when you look at other countries around the world, what do you see? There’s no country like America. We’re America because we will take people, we take talented people who want to work hard, who want to raise their kids and educate them.”

“No, no, you don’t,” Steyn said. “The people who are talented and want to work hard are all sitting in their home countries with their visa applications backed up five years.” Of course, the British-born, turned-Canadian Steyn offered no evidence, no statistics, no facts to back up that claim.

If you'd like to commend Colmes, you can email him at colmes@foxnews.com. I couldn't find an address for Williams.

Unfortunately, my satellite dish malfunctioned in the middle of this segment (I watched it away from home) so I can’t provide video but it’s currently available on FOXnews.com.