Fox News host Tucker Carlson tore into the mayor of Hartford, Connecticut, during his show on Friday for vowing to remain a “sanctuary city,” despite President Donald Trump’s threat to withhold federal funds from such cities.
Hartford, Carlson explained, is in horrible financial condition and needs all the federal funding they can get.
“A century ago, it was the richest city in America. Today it’s on the brink of bankruptcy, it’s bonds are junk, it’s forecasted to layoff hundreds of teachers and it owes $400 million in unfunded pension liabilities,” Carlson said.
Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin has argued that not asking people about their immigration status makes the city safer. But Carlson wanted to know exactly how much crime in Hartford is committed each year by illegal immigrants.
Bronin told Carlson that he asked his police chief for those statistics, who told him that “virtually none” of the crime in Hartford is committed by illegal immigrants, but the city will continue to “prioritize law enforcement efforts on those people who actually pose a risk,” while they try to repair their bankrupt city.
But Carlson was quick to point out that Bronin didn’t actually answer his question with a figure.
“When you say virtually no crimes in Hartford are committed by illegal immigrants, what’s the number?” he pressed.
Bronin continued to dodge the question and said that he won’t let the Trump administration “conscript” the Hartford police into rounding up and deporting illegal immigrants.
“Are you telling me you didn’t get the exact number from your chief of police? Clearly they commit some. A lot of people commit crimes,” Carlson replied. “How many were committed by illegal aliens in Hartford last year? You’re telling me you don’t know.”
“When you say they pose no threat, you can’t back it up,” he added.
But Bronin continued to argue his point and reiterated his policy. He explained that his city will only work with federal law enforcement authorities to help detain illegal immigrants that have committed crimes.
“Look, you know exactly what’s going on as well as I,” Carlson told Bronin. “It’s politically unpopular for you to say that you’re in any way cooperating with the Trump administration on this divisive issue.”
“What I’ve asked my police chief is, ‘Do you want your police officers to be asking victims of crime or witnesses of crime about their immigration status so they’re afraid to share information? Do you want to be detaining people who haven’t committed any crime simply on the basis of their immigration status,’” Bronin responded.
“If you ask questions that are that politically loaded, I’m worried about your leadership,” Carlson shot back.
Watch the entire exchange below: