Geraldo's Immigration Sob Story

May 14th, 2007 10:56 AM

Did you know if you support enforcement of immigration laws you're heartless and also support destroying families?

That was the over-the-top sob story offered yesterday by Geraldo Rivera on his "Geraldo at Large" show where he featured a man who was about to be deported, alongside his wife and three of his children.

"Look at these children. Do you want to be responsible for separating these babies from their daddy?" Rivera emoted, making an especial plea to FNC's Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity along with the "most hysterical voice in the bunch," CNN's Lou Dobbs.

"Their hard-working daddy who's done nothing but do good here in this country?" he asserted, seemingly oblivious to the fact that the man (identified as "Jean") had about 30 seconds earlier admitted that he'd been convicted of a drug offense in 1989.

Full transcript, video link, and fact check after the jump.

And Jean who is facing deportation and three of their four children. Hi, honey. So cute. And reverend Donna Scopper [ph] who offered them sanctuary in her church which is Justin [ph] Memorial down in Washington Square Park here in New York.

You know Jean [pronounced French way], Jean [pronounced American way], Jean [French]--I want to say it right--

GENEE [ph]: Jean [American]

RIVERA: Jean [American]. Do you know that I knew your father?


RIVERA: In the 1980s I interviewed your father.

JEAN: Yes.

RIVERA: And you were obviously here then so you've been in this country for how long?

JEAN: 21 years now.

RIVERA: 21 years--

JEAN: --Yes.

RIVERA: Now, uh, you have three children are citizens and Genee, so are you.

GENEE: Yes I am.

RIVERA: So you were born here in the United States?

GENEE: Yes I am.

RIVERA: OK now so what--the reverend has offered you sanctuary so why, why Jean do you think sanctuary is necessary, you've been here so long?

JEAN: Well, I'm facing deportation because of a 1989 during the war on drugs, I was convicted of a drug offense. And I served 11 years in prison--

RIVERA: Oh, you did 11 years on a drug rap?

JEAN: Yes. And I came here legally. I have a green card. I came here with my green card. But because of the hard, harsh immigration law, now I'm facing deportation.

RIVERA: So you came legal but the law changed so your status became untenable so now they're saying you've gotta get out.

JEAN: Yes.

RIVERA: So you now facing a deportation order--

JEAN: --Yes. Back to Haiti.

RIVERA: --to go back to Haiti where poverty is endemic--

JEAN: Yes.

RIVERA: --where just last week that boat filled with 150 immigrants capsized in shark-infested waters, 150 people crowded on a 25-feet boat. That's why people are so desperate to leave. That's where they're sending you back. And they're separating you from your citizen children and your citizen wife.

Take a shot of these children. And I say to my colleague and friend Bill O'Reilly, I say it to Sean Hannity, and especially to the most hysterical voice in the bunch, Lou Dobbs of CNN. Look at these children. Do you want to be responsible for separating these babies from their daddy? Their hard-working daddy who's done nothing but do good here in this country? Is that where we're going with this? Is that where we're going?

Look at the inf--How old is that baby?

GENEE: Two months.

RIVERA: Two months old. Ladies and gentlemen, we have to have a heart. And if the church has to lead the way, God bless them.

Not only was Rivera's segment manipulative, it was also legally wrong. A person who is deported is able by law to bring their children with them. Jean's citizen wife could come along with him as well.

Click here to watch the video thanks to Ian of Hot Air.