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O'Reilly uses tragedy to attack immigrants
Josh Catone
Published: Thursday April 5, 2007
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Bill O'Reilly has used the tragedy of the death of two young girls in Virginia Beach, VA, whose car was struck by a drunk driver, to launch an attack on illegal immigrants.

Alfredo Ramos, an illegal alien, was charged with aggravated manslaughter for the deaths of two teen aged girls during an auto accident in which he was driving under the influence of alcohol.

Bill O'Reilly debated the incident with Geraldo Rivera on his television show.

"You, Geraldo Rivera, with teenage daughters, are telling me that you are ok with somebody sneaking into the country, becoming drunk, get convicted of a DUI, and staying here? You're alright with that?" asked O'Reilly at the start of their debate.

"My nightmare is my daughters having anything to do with a person driving drunk," replied Rivera. "It could be a Jewish drunk, it could be a Polish drunk, it could be an Irish drunk, it could be an Italian drunk, what the hell difference does it make?"

"It makes plenty of difference!" yelled O'Reilly, getting agitated. "He doesn't have a right to be here!"

Rivera contended that Ramos' immigration status has nothing to do with his committing the crime of driving under the influence.

"He should have been deported!" screamed O'Reilly. "And this mayor, and this police chief didn't deport him!"

"It has nothing to do with illegal aliens, it has to do with drunk driving," came Rivera's retort. "Don't obscure a tragedy to make a cheap political point."

On Wednesday night, O'Reilly's television show was also about the Virginia Beach accident, and hosted the parents of one of the girls killed in the accident.

O'Reilly told them, "The authorities in your town would not obey the law. They defied the law of the land." He said that Virginia Beach was a "sanctuary" for illegal immigrants, and vowed to "get the mayor, Oberndorf and the judge, Whitehurst, because they're the villains."

The mayor of Virginia Beach, Meyera Oberndorf, responded to O'Reilly after city offices were flooded with calls about the shows.

"I regret somebody is so angry that they could use it to promote themselves and their TV [show]," she told the Virginian-Pilot.

At a press conference Thursday, Oberndorf told reporters, "I never want anyone to miss the fact that someone who was drunk caused the death of two innocent young women, and it had nothing to do with nationality or anyone doing anything inappropriate as far as the government is concerned."

She also denied the Virginia Beach was a "sanctuary" for illegal immigrants, saying, "I can promise you neither I not any member of the council has ever adopted any legislation to make this a sanctuary city."

At the same press conference, Ray Tranchant, the father of one of the victims said, "We need to heal, and to bring immigration, that's disrespectful to a family who's just mourning."

Tranchant was not a guest on O'Reilly's show on Wednesday.

WVEC News reports that "[Police] Chief Jake Jacocks says the policy of not reporting illegals until after three DUI charges was his idea. He hoped it would let immigrants feel comfortable if they were involved in an accident."

A video of O'Reilly's argument with Geraldo Rivera is below.