This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, January 30, 2003, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.
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BRENDA BUTTNER, GUEST HOST: They used computer software to make a fake driver's license and a birth certificate. They signed up for a credit card using a false name. And after showing those documents at a checkpoint before entering the U.S., they were told to simply drive on through. Luckily, I'm not talking about two terrorists here. I'm talking about two government investigators on a mission to test our border security. Obviously, still not all that secure. My next guest requested that investigation. Joining us now is Democratic Senator Max Baucus of Montana, the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee.
Senator, thanks for joining us.
SEN. MAX BAUCUS, D-MONT., RANKING MEMBER, FINANCE CMTE.: You bet, Brenda.
BUTTNER: Well, this is quite disturbing, you can just get into the U.S., it doesn't matter if you've got fake ID. They don't even ask for it.
BAUCUS: Yeah. It is very disturbing. We asked the General Accounting Office to check out whether our borders are still porous or not, we thought that, you know, about 16 months or so after Sept. 11, it's only fair to assume that things had picked up quite a bit. But as you said in your opening, they're not. It's just way too easy for somebody with just off- the-shelf computer software, off-the-shelf computers and materials you can get at any store -- to false identification to walk right on through. It is alarming.
BUTTNER: And again, you don't even need that a lot of types. The guards were just waving them through without even looking at their ID.
BAUCUS: Yeah. There's a good bit of that, unfortunately. To be fair, I think that a lot of our Border Patrol don't have sufficient resources.
BUTTNER: Well, what are sufficient resources to actually ask what an ID is? It doesn't seem that you need that much.
BAUCUS: Well, that's true, but I think they are so pressed that people -- that they don't -- because of insufficient resources, they process very quickly and don't spend the time that they should.
BUTTNER: Well, in some cases, I think one of the places was -- what was it? Port Washington, I believe, which should have been on alert because just a few years ago convicted terrorists came through with a car full of explosives.
BAUCUS: That's right. The millennium bomber came through just a couple - three years ago. And that's very true. It is a huge problem, Brenda. We're going to have to a lot of it is inertia and the government's inertia. It takes a lot to get people shaped up to a much higher caliber, much higher level of professionalism.
BUTTNER: Well, I'm going to ask about that. Who is to blame and what is to be done here? It's been quite some time since Sept. 11. This is our mission of our nation these days.
BAUCUS: Right. Well, I think part of it is it's all of us, because there are so many different agencies. And it's tough to coordinate everything. But more than that, I was frankly, at the hearing we had today, quite upset that when I asked questions along the lines of, well, how great is the problem? how many unchecked people come through? No one had the answers. It's easy to understand all these problems because they didn't have answers as to what the problem was.
BUTTNER: Right. So it is very possible that a terrorist could walk across the border.
BAUCUS: It's very possible. And not only is it checkpoints, but it's also all areas in between, all the open space. We have about 7000 miles along our northern border and southern border combined. And a lot of people go through between the checkpoints, that makes it even more difficult.
BUTTNER: Well, we'll be checking back with you to see what has been done.
BAUCUS: Yeah. We've asked them to come back again, we'll be looking very closely when they do.
BUTTNER: OK. All right. Thanks so much. We appreciate it. Democratic Senator Max Baucus of Montana.
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