Fox News host Bill O’Reilly said on Monday that he wanted to meet with Pope Francis and “persuade” him that the US faces an immigration crisis.
“I think I could persuade the Pope that providing protection and enforcing settled law is certainly not un-Christian,” the Factor host said.
However, O’Reilly said he would not meet alone with the pontiff. Instead, he would want to bring the family of 32-year-old Kate Steinle, who was shot and killed by a homeless undocumented immigrant last July.
“I would tell him that because the U.S. Government will not, will not secure the southern border of the United States, a Mexican career criminal was able to illegally enter America six times after being deported five times,” referring to 52-year-old Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, who is charged with her murder.
O’Reilly’s comments came in response to Pope Francis’ special sermon last week at the US-Mexico border, during which he called forced migration a “human tragedy.”
“We cannot deny the humanitarian crisis which in recent years has meant the migration of thousands of people, whether by train or highway or on foot, crossing hundreds of kilometers through mountains, deserts and inhospitable zones,” the pope said.
But O’Reilly said it was more of an outrage that lawmakers have not taken up what he calls “Kate’s law,” a measure which require that any undocumented immigrant caught returning to the US following deportation receive a mandatory five-year prison sentence.
“What I believe might infuriate Jesus is politicians who are sworn to uphold laws, ignoring their oaths in pursuit of power and votes,” he said. “When human beings are being harmed, Christians have a sacred duty to try to stop that harm.”
Watch O’Reilly’s commentary, as posted by Media Matters, below.