updated 8/4/2004 9:43:22 AM ET 2004-08-04T13:43:22

Guest: Bill West, Tamar Jacoby, Jon Meacham, Peter King, Douglas Brinkley, Dennis Hastert

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  We‘re live from Liberty Island, as a symbol of American freedom reopens for visitors. 

Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, where no passport is required and only common sense is allowed. 

After nearly three years and despite the recent terror threats, tourists and New Yorkers alike can once again visit Lady Liberty.  And tonight, we‘re going to be talking to an all-star panel about what freedom means to her and America. 

Then, an alleged al Qaeda operative infiltrates the U.S. on a passport she bought on the black market.  How many more are out there and what can we do to keep our borders secure? 

And we‘re going to be asking the speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, if our nation is safer today than it was three years ago. 

ANNOUNCER:  From the press room, to the courtroom, to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all.  Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.

Live from the Statue of Liberty, here‘s Joe Scarborough.

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, welcome to our show tonight. 

I‘ll tell you what.  We‘re all out here just admiring the wonderful sight of seeing the Statue of Liberty reopen.  And, yes, Lady Liberty is reopened for business. 

It‘s time for tonight‘s “Real Deal.” 

Almost three years ago, the terror attacks that cast a black cloud over New York and the world also closed the Statue of Liberty.  The American landmark that has welcomed the tired, the weary and those seeking a better life in the new world was yet another victim of September 11.  But today, Lady Liberty once again threw open her arms to the world, so Americans and freedom-loving people across the world can come visit the French-made monument to freedom. 

How ironic it is that tonight we celebrate this American moment surrounded neatly between All-Star Game and Labor Day in the shadow of the most serious terror warnings since Islamic extremists ran planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon three years ago?  Ironic because there has always been a tension between liberty and security, whether it was John Adams‘ Alien and Sedition Act or FDR‘s Japanese internment catches or John Ashcroft‘s Patriot Act, Americans have always debated how to balance the right to live freely with the right to live in peace. 

So where do we seek guidance in these troubled days?  I look at Benjamin Franklin, the renaissance man of the American Revolution, who warned his fellow founding fathers that those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.  That‘s something to remember when standing in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty.

And that‘s tonight‘s “Real Deal.” 

Now, President Ronald Reagan spoke of liberty and what it meant to Americans at the rededication of the statue in 1986.  And tonight, we want to take a closer look at the meaning of what liberty means at this critical time in American history.  How secure are we?  What do competing political visions of postwar worlds look like?  And what does freedom mean now and what‘s its cost? 

To answer those questions and more, I‘m joined now by presidential historian Douglas Brinkley, Congressman Peter King of New York, Mike Barnicle of “The Boston Herald.”  He‘s in Boston, of course.  And MSNBC‘s political analyst Pat Buchanan is with us from the nation‘s capital. 

Now, Doug Brinkley, let me ask you, what does it mean to Americans today that the Statue of Liberty has reopened and what has it meant to Americans for the past 110, 120 years? 

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN:  Well, the statue was the dream really of a Frenchman and he decided in the 1870s that he wanted to give a gift to the United States.  So in the 1870s and the ‘80s, it was to celebrate Franco-American relations, also to celebrate the fact that United States ended slavery in France and its Third Republic was celebrating its own democracy. 

But by the turn of the century, this became not just Lady Liberty, but what Ronald Reagan said, the mother of exiles.  And all those strains of Americans who trace their roots here, you could push a button and find out about your Slavic background or your Greek background or your Italian background.  So it was about immigration.

But now, after 9/11, the Statue of Liberty with the great World Trade towers gone, it‘s become the surviving symbol.  It‘s the symbol of Manhattan.  It‘s the symbol of America.  And I think people want to have it open because we want to show the terrorists of the world that you‘re not going to shut the United States down.  There‘s no more potent symbol than the Statue of Liberty to represent our democracy.

SCARBOROUGH:  Let me tell you what Thomas Paine said in 1776: “We have it in our power to begin the world over again.” 

Isn‘t that what the Statue of Liberty has always represented, the power to begin anew in the new world?

BRINKLEY:  Absolutely.

And, as I said, for so many people in this country, the Statue of Liberty is a symbol.  Even if you didn‘t pass through here or your family, when you go to Charleston, South Carolina, where they are going to have a slavery museum—and African-Americans slaves didn‘t come through here.  But the Statue of Liberty becomes the symbol even for people—even for African-Americans, even for Native Americans. 

And when you look at the fact that it was built not just in France, the statue, but the base of it, the pedestal was built in the United States, it‘s granite from Connecticut.  And part of the fund-raising that Joseph Pulitzer started 130-some years ago was to make it a—done with France and the United States.  Both countries built the Statue of Liberty. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Peter King, what does it mean to New Yorkers, this symbol of liberty? 

REP. PETER KING ®, NEW YORK:  Joe, when I was growing in the ‘40s and ‘50s, everybody in New York City was first- or second-generation American, so all of our parents or grandparents came to Ellis Island.  The first symbol they saw of the United States was the Statue of Liberty. 

So for us growing up in New York, this was like the White House.  This was the Capitol.  This was Mount Rushmore.  This was our symbol of what America was about.  And, as Doug said, since the terrible attack at ground zero, the World Trade Center, it really even stands for America more than it ever did before.  That‘s why it‘s so important, as you mentioned, that this week, where there‘s the worst terror threat since September 11, that the Statue of Liberty is reopening. 

It means so much.  This really is in many ways the heart and soul of New York.  It overlooks New York.  We consider it us.  We consider this really our symbol of America. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And yet, over your shoulder is a city right now that‘s not under siege.  That‘s overstating it.  But certainly it‘s on its highest alert since the 9/11 attacks.  What about the irony that the gulf that separates this island of liberty and that island that tonight is living in fear? 

KING:  Joe, actually, it‘s an irony, but it‘s also symbolic. 

The people of Manhattan Island, the people of New York City are not living in fear.  They‘re very defiant.  I was in Manhattan today.  Yes, there‘s a large presence of police out.  Ray Kelly has the police everywhere.  They‘re doing their job.

But the people aren‘t quitting.  The people aren‘t staying away.  They‘re going to fight back and they‘re going to fight back by being there, by showing the same spirit that Rudy Giuliani showed after September 11.  So, in many ways, what is happening in Manhattan right now is the spirit of fighting back.  The defiance of New Yorkers really reflects the spirit of the Statue of Liberty. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Pat Buchanan, I want to read you a quote from Senator Patrick Leahy.  He said the Bush‘s administration‘s policies have restricted our freedoms this way.  He says—quote—“Their own actions threaten to erode the very liberty and democracy that terrorists are attacking.”

First of all, Pat, what do you think of that and what do you think about this constant balance we have always had in American history between liberty and security? 

PAT BUCHANAN, NBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  Well, I think, with due respect, Senator Leahy is profoundly mistaken. 

The Patriot Act—there are risks endemic, clearly, in passing the Patriot Act.  But I think that Senator Kerry and many—I think almost all Democrats, except for one, voted for the Patriot Act.  I think if you compare the administration today with how Woodrow Wilson handled dissent, locking up Eugene V. Debs and some of the Alien and Sedition Acts, as you‘ve mentioned, this administration has sought to protect liberties. 

I think that‘s an unfair charge.  But, Joe, let me mention something.  September, 1920, a cart drawn by a horse outside basically down at the corner of Broad and Wall exploded.  An anarchist‘s bomb killed 30 people, 100 wounded.  It was a horrific crime.  A. Mitchell Palmer, attorney general.  That was the time of the red scare, 6,000 people locked up at once after that explosion.  Thousands were deported from the United States of America. 

The Palmer raids came at that time.  I think when you consider the far more horrific act on the Trade Center and how this country has bent over backwards to protect the rights especially of Muslim Americans and Arab Americans, I think Senator Leahy, with due respect, is off the mark. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Mike Barnicle, let me ask you about tonight, what the reopening means with this cloud of terror hanging over our heads. 

MIKE BARNICLE, NBC ANALYST:  You know, Joe, that light atop Lady Liberty is bathed tonight over New York Harbor.  The morning of September 11, shortly after 9:00 a.m., the second plane flew right over the Statue of Liberty. 

It‘s such a powerful symbol.  We are a land where many, many millions of people came through Ellis Island, a land where shortstops and novelists and waiters and teachers, our parents, our grandparents came through that island and built this country. 

And that light that shines symbolically tonight is a light still seen throughout the world.  Whether we are a nation of war, which we are, whether we have been under attack, which we have been, that light has always shone from coast to coast and around the world.  And it‘s a light that people see throughout the world.  Very few people are lining up on the Polish border to go to Warsaw. 

But millions and millions of people who cross this globe still want to come to the United States and see that Statue of Liberty. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You‘re right, Mike Barnicle.  And all the times I‘ve seen it, there‘s nothing like being here and looking. 

And it‘s the first time I‘ve actually with been on this island and seen it.  It‘s just remarkable, remarkable view. 

Hey, Congressman King, thanks a lot for being with us tonight. 

KING:  Thank you, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  We always appreciate it. 

Douglas, Mike and Patrick, stick around, because, coming up, we‘re going to be talking more about America in the 21st century and what the real cost of freedom is.

Plus, I‘m going to be asking “Newsweek”‘s Jon Meacham what this monument behind me means to him and the rest of America. 

All that and much more when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns live from Liberty Island, New York.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RONALD REAGAN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  It‘s fitting, then, that this procession should take place in honor of Lady Liberty.  And as the wind swells the sails, so too may our hearts swell with pride that all that Liberty‘s sons and daughters have accomplished in this the land of the free.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  We‘re live from Liberty Island celebrating the reopening of the Statue of Liberty.

We‘ll be back in a few minutes talking more about liberty and security in the 21st century.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  I‘m joined now by “Newsweek”‘s Jon Meacham.  He‘s also the author of “Franklin and Winston.

Thanks so much for being with us, Jon.

JON MEACHAM, “NEWSWEEK”:  Thanks for having me.

SCARBOROUGH:  You‘re a historian.  Tell us, what does today mean to you, what does it mean to America, and, more importantly, what does it mean to a city that‘s gripped by terror? 

MEACHAM:  Yes. 

I think it‘s remarkable when you think about the history of the Statue of Liberty.  The idea in France originated in the wake of abolition, the abolition of slavery here in the United States.  And it‘s always symbolized the breaking of different kinds of chains, obviously the wonderful secular hymn, my country ‘tis of thee, from every mountainside, let freedom ring, which became the great text of the great American sermon in the March on Washington with Dr. King, who said it again and again. 

And, really, the statue has become a symbol of our trying to fulfill the central promise of the founding, which is that all of us were created equal.  And now, tragically, it is a battlefield monument.  Right over in its shadow, nearly 3,000 people, innocent people, were murdered, in part because of the ideas the statues symbolizes. 

Franklin Roosevelt said that we all came here speaking different tongues, but believing in the same language, the language of human aspiration.  And I think that‘s been the greatness of America, is that we are here.  When we are here, we do everything we can to level the playing field for everyone. 

And I think to have that statue open, to have that light in the darkness is a lot like what the country is for the world and a lot is what we have been through history, from Reagan‘s city on the hill forward.  It is in fact a light in the darkness. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You obviously know an awful lot about Franklin Roosevelt. 

I want to play you something that Franklin Roosevelt had to say in one of his fireside chats about liberty.  Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Perhaps providence did prepare This American continent of ours to be a place of the second chance. 

Millions of men and women have made it that.  They adopted this homeland because, in this home and in this land, they found a home in which the things they most desired could be theirs, freedom of opportunity, freedom of press, freedom to worship God. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, you can‘t talk about many of our great leaders throughout history, whether it‘s FDR or whether—let‘s go back to Thomas Jefferson, George Washington—well, they talked about freedom.  There champions of freedom.  And yet there was always the irony for FDR, of course, the Japanese internment camps. 

Who do Americans look to today as we balance liberty and security and try to draw that line on how far we should go to protect our security without impeding upon the freedoms that our founders promised us? 

MEACHAM:  Well, the presidency, as it‘s been said, is preeminently a place of moral leadership.  We look in the last couple of centuries to the Oval Office, to the president, to set those lines, to define that struggle. 

I was listening to Roosevelt.  He once said he wrote the four freedoms speech, the freedom of worship, freedom of expression, freedom from fear, freedom from want, he was going through the speech with his aide, Harry Hopkins.  And Harry said, you know, Mr. President, I don‘t think we can push this everywhere in the world.  People in America don‘t care if the people in Java have these freedoms.

And Roosevelt came right back at him and said, you know, Harry, the world is getting small enough now that they are going to have to care.  And what happened on September 11, 2001, over our shoulders is a terrible and tragic testimony of the truth of those words. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, that‘s a remarkable conversation between Roosevelt and Hopkins.

MEACHAM:  1941.

SCARBOROUGH:  Because that‘s the debate.  They had that debate in 1941 between themselves.  That‘s the debate we‘re having today about exporting Jeffersonian democracy.  It‘s the debate that Bill Clinton and Congress had in the 1990s:  What do we do with Bosnia?  What do we do with Kosovo?  What do we do in Haiti?  What do we do in these other countries?

Again, it seems, the more things change in America, the more they stay the same. 

MEACHAM:  Well, as it says in the Old Testament, there‘s no thing new under the sun. 

But there is something new in America and in the experiment in liberty that we have been engaged in now for two centuries and a quarter.  And that‘s what Thomas Paine wrote in “Common Sense” when he said: “We have it in our power to begin the world over again.”  Not many countries are founded on that premise and have stuck with it so long.  No other country has.

And, ultimately, though we‘re always, as Fitzgerald said, born ceaselessly back in the past, Fitzgerald was also completely wrong when he said there are no second acts in American life. 

SCARBOROUGH:  There are—you know what?  That‘s probably one of the most quoted comments in American literature. 

MEACHAM:  Yes. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Especially in America today, it‘s about as wrong...

MEACHAM:  It‘s woefully wrong.

SCARBOROUGH:  ... as anybody could be.  There are so many second acts. 

There are too many second acts in American history. 

MEACHAM:  One could argue that‘s the point of America.  It‘s what FDR was saying.

SCARBOROUGH:  Exactly. 

MEACHAM:  Is that we are the country of the second chance.

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes. 

MEACHAM:  And we are.  And I‘m reminded of President Reagan‘s great farewell address in 1989, when he said that we are all pilgrims hurtling through the darkness towards home. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes. 

MEACHAM:  Well, that‘s home for so many people.

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Douglas Brinkley, Ronald Reagan did understand what America meant.  So many understand it, but Ronald Reagan seemed to be able to verbalize it so well, so Americans like me could understand it. 

And let‘s take a listen to what Ronald Reagan had to say in 1986 at the rededication of the Statue of Liberty. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REAGAN:  We are the keepers of the flame of liberty.  We hold it high in the night for the world to see, a beacon of hope, a light under the nations.  And so, with joy and celebration and with a prayer that this lamp stall never be extinguished.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Ronald Reagan understood that.

And it‘s very easy to become cynical about America.  Of course, we had Abu Ghraib, the scandal that we heard about time and time again.  I thought it was very interesting, though, during that scandal, some of the prisoners were talking about suing America.  A New York Times” reporter asked one of them, well, what would you sue America for?  What would you want?  And one of the prisoners said, well, I‘ll take a ticket to America. 

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  Isn‘t it ironic?  We really are.  That symbol behind us really is something that the world looks to, isn‘t it? 

BRINKLEY:  Absolutely. 

And that was one of Reagan‘s really, truly great patriotic speeches, when he gave it here at the Statue of Liberty.  It seems like it was almost yesterday in some ways, 1986.  But the fireworks display was just incredible.  And it‘s one of these, I think, a series four or five Reagan speeches from his presidency that are really—strike a patriotic tone and were so perfectly written.

And when you reread the speech, you see Reagan did for the Statue of Liberty what he did for the boys of Pointe du Hoc at D-Day.  He told a lot of personal stories about the dreams and aspirations of the building of the Statue of Liberty.  He talked about regular working people right over here in Staten Island who were traveling over here to help repair it.

When we look at it tonight, having reopened, we have to remember, it‘s a memorial to visit.  It‘s not something we want to put barricades.  I get depressed when you go to Washington, D.C.  There‘s now concrete walls around the White House and around the Capitol.  And it‘s for security and we know it, but we also want these heirlooms to be accessible. 

And this is like the Grand Canyon or going to the redwood forests of California or one of these great places.  And this is one the first examples of now corporations helping the National Park Service.  People ranging from Federal Express to Folgers Coffee, on and on, put a lot of money into this refixing the Statue of Liberty. 

And it‘s not just a statue as a symbol.  It‘s an interpretive museum.  You come here and you learn about the history of immigration.  I mentioned before Reagan said that this, it is the mother of all exiles.  And you can do detailed research on your family charts here at Ellis Island.  So it‘s a very important shrine.  It‘s one in which I encourage everybody to come visit.  And you can learn so much about our nation‘s history here. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Mike Barnicle, we‘re in the middle of a very heated presidential campaign right now.  America seems to be split. 

But in moments like this, when we come to a place like this, doesn‘t it remind us just how again this too shall pass?  It‘s a presidential election and after the election, we‘re really—again, we‘re all Americans. 

BARNICLE:  Joe, we are all part of a very cynical business, the media business.  And we continually describe this country, especially in the midst of this election year, as being a deeply divided country.  I don‘t know that I agree with it.  I think it‘s a country filled with anxiety about the future and what terror is going to mean to the future of this country. 

But the Statue of Liberty this evening and everything that it symbolizes, everybody that it has symbolized in the past, if it symbolizes anything at all, it symbolizes an idea.  America is an idea and it‘s an idea that means freedom.  I can remember distinctly in 1985, when they opened up Vietnam and I went back there with a group of people who had fought there. 

And we were in a small town just south of Danang, An Hoa, about 40 miles south of Danang.  And these Vietnamese children were clinging to us as Americans.  They wanted to see our ballpoint pens and our tape recorders.  But mostly they want to be exposed to us because we were from the United States of America and we symbolized the idea of freedom.

We had smiles on our faces.  We had good clothing on.  We knew what aspirins were.  We ate good meals.  And they wanted to know about the United States of America.  And in 1985 to 2004, from 1945, 1905, it‘s always been the same.  People always want to hear about the idea of America because it means freedom.  And the human soul, the human heart knows what freedom is. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Mike, I agree with you.

And I will tell you what.  After being up in Boston this past week at the Democratic Convention, I‘m more convinced than ever that we aren‘t two countries.  We aren‘t two Americas.  We are one America.  And Democrats, just like Republicans, want the same thing.  They want to live in freedom.  They want to live in security.  And they want their children to have a better world to grow up in than they had.  So I agree with you.

Mike, thanks a lot. 

Stick around because coming up next, we‘re going to be talking about our al Qaeda operatives are still coming into our country.  And are we safer now than we were before September 11?  We‘ll have Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert to weigh in on that in just a minute. 

And we‘re also going to be talking about immigration right after this. 

We‘ll have more of SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY live from the Statue of Liberty, so don‘t go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  We‘re coming back live from the Statue of Liberty, and going to be talking about immigration.

But, first, let‘s get the latest headlines from the MSNBC News Desk. 

(NEWS BREAK) 

ANNOUNCER:  From the press room, to the courtroom, to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all.  Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUDOLPH GIULIANI ®, FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK:  No less than 40 percent of all Americans trace their ancestry to arrival on Ellis Island.  This is a wonderful place.  It‘s a sacred place and it‘s a hallowed place.

It‘s a very hallowed place. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  That was Rudy Giuliani, of course, the former mayor of New York, speaking at an immigration ceremony three years ago. 

At the turn of the 20th century, his grandfather arrived across the harbor at Ellis island with nothing more than $20 in his pocket.  Like the nearly 20 million people who immigrated through that facility, Giuliani‘s grandfather came here to find a better life and better opportunities.  That‘s the American dream still being pursued by millions.  But today, some cross our border with a more sinister agenda. 

So what‘s being done to preserve our tradition as a nation of immigrants, while protecting our borders from terrorists, infiltrators and others?

We‘re honored tonight to be joined again by the speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert.  He‘s the author of “Speaker: Lessons Learned From 40 Years in Coaching and Politics.” 

And as a guy who was one of the more difficult people to coach on your team in Congress, it‘s an honor to have you here.

REP. DENNIS HASTERT (R-IL), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE:  You were a star, Joe.  You were a star.

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, I don‘t know about that.  Let‘s move on.

Mr. Speaker, obviously, tonight, there‘s some irony.  We‘re talking about immigration. 

HASTERT:  Right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yet, when you mention the word immigration, it almost is a dirty word with a lot of Americans because there‘s so many people that are crossing over the borders.  We talked about how some cross with sinister motives, obviously not those that—some cross, obviously, to come up and make money for their family and go back home.

But now we‘re hearing about possible terrorists that are using our southern border to slip in.  What are we doing?  What are you doing in Congress?  What‘s the president doing to protect our borders and keep our country safe? 

HASTERT:  Well, Joe, as you remember, when you were a member and I was not speaker, I worked on anti-drug issues.  And we said that we needed to bring and move people across that border at focal points.  I was an advocate of putting the military on the border, an advocate of actually putting a fence across that border, not to keep people out, but at least to be able to move people in, in an orderly way, so you could check who‘s coming across that border. 

We have to realize—I represent a district in Illinois that‘s 20 percent Hispanic.  Those people came there.  They want a better life for their kids and better economic opportunity.  They also want people to follow the law and not to come in illegally and jump ahead of everybody else that‘s in line to become a citizen.  So we have to balance this out.  We have to balance it out to make sure that we can fulfill our economic needs, that we have the people to do that work that they are willing to do and get ahead. 

Not many of those people are on welfare.  They‘re out there with a job and doing important work.  But what we really have to do is make sure that illegal aliens, if they‘re here, go back, that we can focus them through points on the border where we know who‘s here and not here.  And I don‘t really favor an amnesty, because when you create an amnesty situation, you create another amnesty down the road, because people think, well, I can come in.  I‘ll wait around or lay low until the next amnesty comes. 

But we need to make sure that the immigration process is expedited, that we make sure that people get in line and do what they have to do to become citizens.  And I think we need some visitor working program or work program that people can work here and then go back home. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Jon, again, talking about history, I remember John Kennedy saying that America for all of its flaws never had to build a wall to keep its people in.  You listen to the speaker, listen to others, some are talking about building wall to keep people out illegally. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  How severe has the immigration crisis become in America? 

MEACHAM:  I actually don‘t think it‘s as severe as some people make it out to be.  I was reminded of Franklin Roosevelt, who once shocked a meeting of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the very prim and proper organization, by saying, welcome, fellow immigrants.  We‘re all immigrants. 

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  Shocking, huh? 

MEACHAM:  Yes.  And so they were there spilling their tea and—we‘re all immigrants.  I‘m from Scotland.  And you‘re from...

HASTERT:  Luxembourg. 

MEACHAM:  There you are.

And I think that America has always been strongest when we have opened our arms widest.  I firmly believe that.  We have fought with this issue from the beginning of the republic, as the speaker knows well, the Alien and Sedition Acts from the very beginning in the late 18th century.

President Roosevelt‘s incarceration, you mentioned.  We have just always struggled with this.  But I would separate the issue of immigration broadly defined and security.  That is, I believe very strongly in what I would call smart profiling, smart—taking smart steps, where the terror watch lists are actually enforced.  We know, tragically, that we had two hijackers from September 11 who were on the list, who were in the United States, who were in flight school, who were in San Diego. 

That‘s a case where a security system broke down.  I would be very, very careful about mixing what I would say are apples and oranges of immigrants who are coming to better their lives and immigrants who may be coming in under different circumstances.  I think that‘s a very dangerous combination. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Right. 

Let‘s bring in Bill West, he‘s a former immigration official.  And we also have Tamar Jacoby of the Manhattan Institute.  She‘s the author of “Reinventing the Melting Pot: The New Immigrants and What It Means to Be American.”  And, of course, Pat Buchanan still with me.

Tamar, what do you make of the debate over immigration, of security concerns?  Do we need to tighten up the borders? 

TAMAR JACOBY, MANHATTAN INSTITUTE:  Jon Meacham is exactly right.

Most immigrants who are coming here to work at jobs that Americans don‘t want to do, it‘s a big mistake to confuse them with terrorists.  And you talk about an immigration crisis.  The real reason we have a crisis is that the global marketplace is generating a certain flow of laborers to this country to do work we need done and our quota are too small.

So lots of those people who are coming for legitimate reasons to work can‘t get in legally.  That‘s what creates the crisis.  Then you have illegal immigration.  Then you have smugglers.  Then you have violence. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Pat Buchanan, Pat Buchanan, do you agree with that? 

BUCHANAN:  No, I don‘t. 

Look, Joe, we have got between eight and 14 million illegal aliens in this country; 400,000 have ordered deported for various crimes, for murder, rape, robbery, burglary, child molestation.  They‘re in society right now, 400,000 of them.  We have got 200 agents trying to run down the 400,000.  Illegal aliens are one-fourth of your federal prisoners and they‘re just a tiny percentage of your national population.

I think the failure of the federal government, Congress and the president to enforce the immigration laws of the United States amounts to a dereliction of their constitutional duty to protect us from foreign invasion.  Legal immigration, whatever Congress decides, we follow.  Illegal immigration, I think what the speaker just told you, I wish he would tell the president of the United States and the president would make American policy. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Bill West? 

BILL WEST, FORMER IMMIGRATION OFFICIAL:  Hi, Joe.  It‘s good to be here with you tonight. 

What Pat and the speaker had to say is pretty much right on the money.  What we have had for the past several decades in the United States is near uncontrolled, nearly chaotic immigration circumstances here in the United States relative to illegal immigration.  We do have a lawful immigration process.  However, once we have people coming into the United States, once they cross that border, whether it‘s surreptitiously on the southern or northern borders or they manage to make it through a port of entry, there‘s very little chance they‘ll get caught, because the interior enforcement of the immigration laws are very lax.  And that‘s a massive problem that we continue to face to this day. 

JACOBY:  But we don‘t have really have a for people to come work.  The programs for workers are tiny and they are so bureaucratic that they are basically nonfunctional. 

So people who want to come here and do jobs, jobs in hotels and restaurants, bus boys, out in the sun picking things in the field, jobs that Americans don‘t want to do anymore because we‘re too educated, we don‘t have a way for people to come and do those jobs, so they have to come illegally.  Basically, we‘re criminalizing people who want to come here to work, with bad consequences for us, worst consequences for us than for them, because we have a whole criminal system here now instead of a worker pipeline.  We need a worker pipeline.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Tamar, we‘re going to have to leave it there. 

Thanks for being with us.

Bill West, Pat Buchanan and Jon West, thank you so much for joining us tonight.  Greatly appreciate it. 

And coming up, just how safe is America in the aftermath of 9/11 and how stable is our economy?  We‘ve got CNBC‘s Lawrence Kudlow weighing in on that, as well as the speaker of the House, when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns live from the Statue of Liberty. 

ANNOUNCER:  Tonight‘s SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY challenge:  The Statue of Liberty‘s home is Liberty Island.  What was the island originally named?  Was it, A, Stuyvesant Island, B, Freedom Island, or, C, Bledsoe‘s Island? 

The answer coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANNOUNCER:  In tonight‘s SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY challenge, we asked:  The Statue of Liberty‘s home is Liberty Island.  What was the island originally named?  The answer is C.  In 1956, Bledsoe‘s Island was officially renamed Liberty Island.

Now back to Joe.

SCARBOROUGH:  And we‘re live from the Statue of Liberty, celebrating the reopening of an America icon. 

Just a half a mile away, an open wound still sprawls across 16 acres of Lower Manhattan.  The city‘s financial institutions are on day two of high alert for the terror attacks.  But here in the middle of New York Harbor, the nation celebrates a victory against the threat of terror.  Liberty‘s beacon is still shining brightly, but almost three years after the attacks of September 11, how safe is our country? 

We‘re honored to be joined again by the speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert.  He‘s the author of “Speaker: Lessons Learned From 40 Years in Coaching and Politics.”  We‘re also joined by Lawrence Kudlow of CNBC‘s “Kudlow and Cramer,” who just gave that book a positive review.

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  We also have Steve Emerson with us.  He‘s MSNBC‘s terror analyst.  And, of course, Mike Barnicle still with us as well from Boston. 

Larry Kudlow, al Qaeda is clearly targeting America‘s financial targets.  What do we need to do to fight that?  Can we fight that battle against them? 

LAWRENCE KUDLOW, CO-HOST, “KUDLOW & CRAMER”:  Well, we need to do everything we can, everything we can, including lots of covert agents in our intelligence agencies on the field in Pakistan and in Iraq and Iran and the Middle East. 

We need to do everything we can militarily.  We need to do everything we can in terms of homeland defensive.  But just let me say this, Joe.  They could theoretically knock a building or two out.  That will have no lasting effect on the American economy because of the economic freedom which is inherent to our economy, where men and women can work, can achieve, can reap the fruits of their labors.

And you cannot stop economic freedom or, for that matter, any freedom.  But in my area, economic liberty, as Hayek used to call it, economic freedom, as Milton Friedman used to call it, free markets, as we refer to it today, those are real cornerstones of our economy. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Mr. Speaker, in your book, you talk about September 11. 

Are we prepared for the next September 11? 

HASTERT:  Well, we have to be 100 percent effective. 

You know, when I was a kid, they used to talk about Ivory Soap being 99.90 percent pure.  I always wanted what that other tenth percent was. 

(LAUGHTER) 

SCARBOROUGH:  What else was in that soap?

HASTERT:  But we can‘t have one-tenth of 1 percent failure.  Al Qaeda can.  And they will be successful if they get one-tenth of what they wanted to do, one-tenth of 1 percent.

So I think we have done everything we possibly can.  There are still some things we have to do in shoring up our intelligence factors.  I just talked to Porter Goss tonight and tried to see, where are we going, if he‘s having his committee have hearings this week.  And we have six committees having 15 hearings on the 9/11 report. 

But there‘s ways that we need to do a better job of funneling the appropriations process, so it doesn‘t get sidetracked someplace else.  I think we need somebody who has the oversight ability and the responsibility for all agencies of intelligence.  And there are 16 or 17 of them out there besides the CIA.  Somebody has to be in charge.  But I think we also need a redundancy, too, so there‘s a check and balance on our intelligence. 

As far as what‘s going on here in New York, yes, we knew that al Qaeda has some semblance of cells here.  We knew that they want to do something to disrupt our elections.  We also got this new information July 15 of something that was on a computer in Pakistan, that they have cased out these five or six buildings.  I think it‘s only prudent for us to go to that alert in those areas and make sure that we protect those places. 

(CROSSTALK)

KUDLOW:  And New Yorkers went to work.  I just want to make this point.  You know, we‘re all hardened after 9/11.  But yesterday and today, New Yorkers went to work. 

They went to work in the Stock Exchange.  They went to work in the CitiCorp building.  And, as Mike Bloomberg has said and Ray Kelly, police commissioner, that‘s what we do.  We go about our business.  And none of these terrorists are going to disrupt that. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And, Mike Barnicle, that really is the best way to fight these terror threats, isn‘t it? 

BARNICLE:  Well, Joe, Larry just mentioned something which I think is unique to this war on terrorism.  It occurred in New York.  And as he indicated—like, for instance, yesterday, the governor, the mayor, the police commissioner, they were at the groundbreaking ceremonies for a new Bank of America building, a high-rise that‘s going to be built in Bryant Park in New York. 

But there is an awareness of terrorism in New York that I think, unfortunately, in this, our 15-minute culture that we have in America, does not exist much beyond—well, in other parts of the country.  I don‘t think the awareness of terrorism is where it should be.  And I don‘t know whether that‘s our fault in the media or whether it‘s just the fault of the culture we‘re a part of. 

We have so much information given to us and no time to think about it.  September 11 wasn‘t that long ago.  It could happen again.  It might happen again, probably will.  But the rest of the country has to be brought more into the awareness factor that these things could happen.  It‘s not a one-time thing. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And, Steve Emerson, how do we do that?  How do we keep America on guard? 

STEVE EMERSON, NBC TERRORISM ANALYST:  Well, unfortunately, I think that reality is that the threat comes not just from the outside, because, clearly, the 19 hijackers were sent in.

But the dirty secret of 9/11 was that they were assisted logistically, supported financially or in other ways, they were helped in the community by others who were living in the United States.  Joe, I think one of the most telling memorandums of the last three years was the memorandum leaked at the Defense Department by the secretary of definite in which he said, are we killing the terrorists faster than they‘re graduating from the madrasas, the religion schools? 

And the reality is that, in the United States itself, there are radical schools set up, Reston, Virginia, in other parts of the United States, where they are teaching hatred of the U.S.  These are future terrorists, though they‘re not committing any violation of the law now.  There needs to be a greater response and an ability to detect the radicalism on American soil by second-generation Muslim immigrants, the vast majority of whom support the United States and are not interested in supporting terrorism, but there‘s a fraction of which hate the United States and will become the core of the next 9/11 terrorists. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Steve, hold on right there.

We‘ll be back live from Liberty Island in just a minute. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  We‘re back with some final thoughts on the reopening of the Statue of Liberty. 

Mike Barnicle, give us some final thoughts tonight. 

BARNICLE:  Joe, the scene, the lights, the statue, the city, the water, the past, the wound that lies just a quarter of a mile from that whole thing, you know, call me naive, but it still gives me goose bumps, the whole thing. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, it sure does.

Larry Kudlow, you were here in sixth grade? 

KUDLOW:  Sixth grade I think is the last time.  And I agree with Mike Barnicle.  It still gives me goose bumps. 

I‘ll just say this, Joe.  We‘re coming up to the third anniversary of 9/11.  And the U.S. economy, which is what I know best, is healing beautifully, with the help of good monetary and tax-cut policies.  Our economy is resilient because it is free.  And I think that freedom is a theme that goes with that beautiful lady up there. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Mr. Speaker, we‘re out of time, but the book you write is waging the war on terror.  Thanks a lot for being with us tonight. 

(CROSSTALK)

HASTERT:  Thanks, Joe.

SCARBOROUGH:  We greatly appreciate it.

And we thank you for being with us tonight. 

Steve Emerson, also appreciate you being here. 

Mike Barnicle, as always, you‘re absolutely fantastic.  Your words touched me. 

And to all of our guests, thank you for being with us tonight for the reopening of the Statue of Liberty. 

We‘ll see you tomorrow night.  Good night. 

END   

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