Since getting kicked out of Donald Trump’s press conference and told to “Get out of my country” by a Trump supporter last week, Fusion and Univision anchor Jorge Ramos has been the subject of headlines, to say the least. Some disagreed with his behavior, suggesting his questions were out of turn and even disrespectful to his fellow journalists; others wondered whether he was looking for a confrontation in Iowa.
But perhaps one of Ramos’ most outspoken critics was Fox’s Bill O’Reilly. The political commentator took to his own website to air his grievances with the journalist, calling him “an activist with a radical agenda,” accusing him of failing to disclose the fact that his daughter is working for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign (though he did in June, here), and even saying that Ramos has been “hiding under his escritorio” (Spanish for “desk”) following requests for an interview.
On Wednesday night, the host got what he wanted. Ramos appeared on The O’Reilly Factor to discuss why he disagrees with Trump’s plan to build a wall, opposes Kate’s Law, and stands by his actions in Iowa.
“Tonight I just want to get the audience to get to know who you are, Jorge, you know?” O’Reilly started. “They may be horrified, but I think I have to do it.”
O’Reilly kicked things off by asking Ramos why he doesn’t want a border wall that would “stop people from infiltrating from Mexico into the United States.” The host mentioned that a wall could have prevented the death of 32-year-old Kate Steinle, who was recently killed in San Francisco by an undocumented immigrant who had been deported five times. He said this is why the country needs legislation like Kate’s Law.
Ramos disagreed: “I don’t think you are approaching the problem in a global way,” he said, while stressing that he’s not defending criminals.
“You are!” O’Reilly responded. “You’re an enabler. Jorge, you’re enabling guys like Sanchez,” referring to Steinle’s alleged killer.
“You have to concentrate on enforcement, background checks, and at the same time you have to resolve the situation of 11 million people in this country,” Ramos responded.
O’Reilly asked Ramos, “Do you believe that Mexican nationals—and you were one, you came to the United States on a student visa and then, I guess, you did everything, legally, and you’re here and you’re successful—do you believe that Mexican nationals, Guatemalan nationals, Honduran nationals, have a right to come to the United States?”
Ramos said he believes they have a right if done legally but that immigrants are coming to the U.S. because they are also needed here by American companies.
“You want to criminalize a whole community,” Ramos said. “And at the same time, we are also responsible. You think they are just coming because they want to go to Disneyland? Of course not. They are coming because they are doing the jobs nobody else wants to do; we are giving them jobs. That’s why they are coming.”
The Fox host then turned the discussion to Ramos’ career. “You’re an anchorman, how can you possibly cover illegal immigration fairly when you’re an activist, when you’re a proponent of allowing them amnesty?” O’Reilly continued, “You should excuse yourself from it, or recuse yourself from it, or become like me, a commentator.”
“Mr. O’Reilly, I don’t think you are the right person to lecture me on advocacy and journalism when you spend most of your program giving opinions and not asking questions, defending Republicans, criticizing Democrats, and, frankly, conducting interviews—soft interviews—with conservatives that you agree with,” Ramos responded. “The difference between you and me is that you are partisan, and I’m independent.”
Watch the O’Reilly Factor segment here: