FOX "Your World With Neil Cavuto"-Transcript
MR. CAVUTO: Someone who's been involved in security as well said the next threat could come from someone who sneaks over the border. With us right now, Lindsey Graham, South Carolina's senator.
Senator, I know I'm switching gears with you a little bit, but what do you think of this heightened security letter? I know you've warned and talked about the possibility that if, God forbid, there were to be any act against this country, it might come from someone who slips through the border.
SEN. GRAHAM: Yeah. Well, I think the whole debate has got a common theme to it. How can you secure airports, how can you secure your borders? And our efforts to secure the borders have been miserable failures. We've got 12 million people here illegally, and I'm ready to do something about it rather than just talk all the time. And we've got an amendment on the floor of the Senate that will help improve border security dramatically.
MR. CAVUTO: It is a dramatic move. In a nutshell, what are you trying to do?
SEN. GRAHAM: Put $3 billion where our mouth is at -- put our money where our mouth is at. Double the Border Patrol agents authorized in current law. Create 45,000 bed spaces so you don't catch and release people. Unmanned aerial vehicles -- have four new ones. Put 105 sensor towers in the desert so we can better track who's coming across our border. Build a 700-mile fence fully funded. Create a 300-mile vehicle barrier where you can drive up and down and monitor the border. Technology, a wall, more people on the ground, more boots on the ground. And finally, deal with the visa overstays. The 19 hijackers all were here on visas. And when their visa expired, they never left. We have a provision in this amendment that would require visa overstays to be turned over to local law enforcement so we can track where they are and deport them.
MR. CAVUTO: Senator, the initial sense was funding was approved and either not given or they just didn't build. So what makes you think that whatever initiative you're proposing here -- 3 billion (dollars) plus -- would be acted on or paid for, even if you got the votes?
SEN. GRAHAM: Well, that's up to the administration. I believe they will take this seriously. The 700-mile fence was authorized but not fully funded. The 3 billion (dollars) would pay for the fence and then some. It would pay for the extra sensors we need in the desert to track people coming across the desert.
MR. CAVUTO: So what happened, Senator -- (inaudible) -- what happened to you? You were one of the compromise guys and trying to find a middle ground. And now you're one of the, you know, get super, super tough guys. What happened?
SEN. GRAHAM: Well, the bill was super, super tough on border security. It was super, super tough on people who cross the border illegally. It was practical when it came to the 12 million. What I try to do is look at all the moving parts. They come here to get jobs -- control employment. Well, let's focus on what we can agree on, take part of what we did and see if we can get consensus. That's securing the border, tracking visas, mandatory jail time if you come back illegally.
MR. CAVUTO: Senator, thank you very much.