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CNN Lou Dobbs Tonight - Transcript

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CNN Lou Dobbs Tonight - Transcript


DOBBS: On Capitol Hill today, the House Homeland Security Committee held hearings on the Safe Port Act. The legislation requires the government the take specific steps to improve port security.

The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee joins us now, Congressman Pete King.

Good to have you with us, Mr. Chairman.

REP. PETE KING (R), NEW YORK: Lou, it's always great to be with you.

DOBBS: The hearings today moving forward. Are you confident that we're going to see real port security established as a result of what you're doing?

KING: I think I am, Lou. Again, it's not going to be perfect. We're going to make really very significant strides forward.

What I want to do -- and actually, Dan Lungren and Jane Harman are very good partners in this -- we want to move the whole inspection procedure back. I want to have, for instance, as much of the containers investigated overseas as possible, before they even get on the ocean, before they get here, to insist that we have that type inspection and screening done at the overseas ports and then have follow-up inspections at our own ports. But it has to be done overseas.

DOBBS: But Congressman, wasn't that supposed to already be in place?

KING: Yes. And that's why this bill is going to insist. We're putting actual deadlines in the bill to insist that it be done.

For instance, the whole idea of worker identification cards, which I think are essential, because we don't know who is working at our ports -- and I can tell you there are a number of ports around the country where there are illegal immigrants working, where there's people from terrorists-type countries are working at our ports, and that's because the Department of Homeland Security has not come up with the identification card that was required. We're putting in strict mandates for all of this. It has to be done.

DOBBS: Mr. Chairman, let me ask you this. You and the other members of that committee and your counterparts on the Senate side, at what point are you going to say -- let me rephrase it -- are you going to say to the Department of Homeland Security, "It's time to take the title of your department seriously"?

KING: Lou, I think we're doing that with this bill, because, unfortunately, you know, the department, it's 22 departments and agencies, 180,000 employees, it's going in different directions. They have to get focused. They have to realize that it's more important, not just our flowcharts and our organization charts and not just to have a time schedule, there has to be results and that's what we're looking for here. That's one of the reasons for this legislation. We're mandating results by certain dates.

DOBBS: Congressman, let's turn quickly to immigration reform, or amnesty, whatever you want to style it as. Senator McCain is being quoted this evening as saying that he doesn't think that they have the votes to push through the guest-worker program in the Senate. What's your reading?

KING: I hope that's the case, because no matter what they call it, I'm a good friend of John McCain, but this is amnesty, and the American people won't stand for it. We have to show we can secure the borders. We have to secure the borders. We have to dry up the job market that's going to illegals. We do that by having strict employer sanctions.

To me, strict enforcement of the border, strict employer sanctions, we would draw drastically cut into the 11 million illegals that are here. If we want to look it a again in 18 months or two years, that's one thing. But we shouldn't do anything until we secure those borders and convince the American people that we can secure them.

Otherwise, it's a crisis of confidence in our government that goes beyond the issue of illegal immigration. People look at the broken borders and say if you can't even control the borders how do you ever hope to win a war in Iraq. How do you ever hope to make economic progress if you can't do the most basic responsibility of the government and that's to control its borders.

DOBBS: Congressman Pete King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. Thanks for being here.

High school students all across the country tonight in various places are being prevented from demonstrating their support for the American flag after last week's illegal alien protest.

In some instances students have actually been suspended for bringing the American flag to their schools. At the high school in Rose City, Texas, students have been banned for bringing both Mexican and American flags to their school in the interests of keeping peace, as the administrators put it, after last week's demonstration.

A student who brought an American flag to school was suspended. At Longmont, Colorado, Skyline High School, at least one student was suspended for bringing an American flag to class. The principal at the school said the U.S. flag intimidates students of Mexican decent. He says, and we quote, "Brandishing a flag at other ethnic groups, we're just not going to allow that. The abuse of the flag is misguided patriotism."

A ban on wearing the American flag is in place at the Apache Junction High School near Phoenix, Arizona. That happened after students took down the American flag from the school flagpole and raised the Mexican flag last week. And in Southern California, the Oceanside School District is banning American flags on campus after last week's illegal alien protests and demonstrations there.

Tina Azedin (ph), from our affiliate KGTV, with the report.


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