This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," April 4, 2006, that was edited for clarity.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Picture this: someone who breaks into your house, eats your food, refuses to get up off your couch, and the government says it's all OK. Well, that's how my next guest pretty much sums up the illegal immigration debate, and goes even further to say that illegal immigrants have elected to ignore the Constitution that thousands before them have fought, bled, and died for.
He is Craig Smith. He is an Arizona resident. And he is CEO of Swiss America Trading Corporation.
Good to have you, sir.
CRAIG SMITH, CEO, SWISS AMERICA TRADING CORPORATION: Hey, Neil. Good to be with you.
CAVUTO: You are in the neck of the woods where this is sort of the ground zero of this debate. How do things stand now?
SMITH: It sure is.
I'm 180 miles from the Mexican border in my home in Phoenix. And I'm 40 miles from the border in my home in Southern California. And, I mean, we have a real debate going on.
I liked your segment with Mr. Hinojosa. He gave us the formula for fixing the jail system, Neil. Just take all the people that break the law, and they make great students and wonderfully productive citizens. I think we should turn overrule the correctional facilities to Mr. Hinojosa. He would straighten out the mess overnight.
CAVUTO: Let me ask you, though Mr. Smith. You are a CEO. I think we will show your title again up there, for those who don't know you. But you're well known.
There are a lot of folks who say, in the CEO community, you know: Wink, wink. We need illegal immigrants.
What do you say?
SMITH: You know, Neil, I don't agree with that.
I know a lot of businessmen in this town that the first thing they ask for, if they are talking to somebody that looks like they're from south of the border, is, do you have a green card?
This whole nonsensical notion that we need a guest-worker program — we already have one: It's called green cards. And I think most Americans are not opposed to people that are here on green cards, working and doing the jobs that they are doing.
The problem is, when you come across this border illegally, when you break the law to get here, you show us an intent that tells us that you are not willing to abide by the rules that you and I, as Americans, subscribe to.
CAVUTO: But, Craig, I know a little bit about you. I know you are an honorable guy, a patriotic American.
I hate to remind you that there are some — and I say very few, but some CEOs who don't feel that way — in the pursuit of making a buck, will curl that buck on cheap labor.
SMITH: And Neil, I'm sure that we have culprits in every area of the country. But the majority of Americans are playing by the rules.
Hey, I had a Mexican gardener. The first thing that I asked him, can I see your green card? He was very polite and showed it to me. He wasn't offended.
I happen to be using an American-born gardener at the time or right now. But really, I don't think most people have a problem with it.
Neil, I was thinking about this. Think about if you invited me to your home, Neil, and you weren't there yet. So, I just kicked in the front door and made myself at home. Would you just say, oh, there is the couch; make yourself comfortable? Or would you call 911 when you got home?
I mean, we have an invasion going on in this country. We need to deal with it, Neil. And I'm so grateful that we are having this discussion. This is a discussion that should have been had 20, 25 years ago in this nation. And we wouldn't be dealing with this problem now.
CAVUTO: But, you know, the fact of the matter is, Craig, now, we are 20, 25 years into 11, 12 million folks here illegally. You can't kick them all off your couch. Or can you?
SMITH: Well, I'm not sure that you can kick them off the couch, Neil, but I think that you can start enforcing the laws.
Our sheriff for the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office is now starting to arrest illegal aliens.
I think it's time that we start showing people — first off, we have to stop the bleeding, Neil. We can't allow the borders to be porous any longer. We have to stop new people coming in, and, then, take the people that are here and, slowly but surely, ask them to get documented.
CAVUTO: Craig Smith, thank you, sir. Appreciate it very much.
SMITH: Good being with you.
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