This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," June 2, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
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SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: As we continue on "Hannity & Colmes," I'm Sean Hannity, reporting again from Phoenix, Arizona.
There is a new illegal immigration problem in the American southwest, but this time Mexicans aren't the culprits in this case. The numbers of Central and South American immigrants that have been caught crossing one stretch of the border in Texas has now jumped 240 percent in just the last eight months.
Now border agents call them OTM's, or "other than Mexican migrants." And we have obtained this surveillance video from the border patrol that shows that the so-called OTM's crossing a golf course. Now this is on the U.S. side of the border. It's in Eagle's Pass, Texas. If you could see right there.
Now this video was shot just a little over two weeks ago. And it's indicative of the problem being faced by residents in Texas and all along the Mexican border. And what's happening here, as you can see, they're crossing in the middle of the night. That's a golf course.
So why is it so bad? Because of the legal loophole that treats them differently than Mexican illegal immigrants.
Joining us now to explain this is Mark Krikorian. He's from the Center for Immigration Studies.
All right, Mark, why don't you explain what the difference is. And how the verbiage and the spirit of this law has gotten out and why it's increasing the numbers so dramatically?
MARK KRIKORIAN, CENTER FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES: Well, when Mexican illegals cross, and most illegal aliens who come across there obviously are Mexicans, something like a million times a year, the border patrol arrests a Mexican illegal. They're just dumped back across the border, because they're sent back to their own country, Mexico.
When they get the non-Mexican illegals who are Central and South American, but also Chinese and Middle Eastern and everything else, they can't just dump them back across the border, because Mexico won't take them.
So they — the border patrol is stuck having to make a decision. Either they lock them up in detention facilities until they're processed and have a hearing and what have you. Or they have to let them go if they don't have enough space.
And the problem is, they don't have enough money and enough detention space to hold people, so they end up just having to let them go into the United States with a free pass.
HANNITY: Mark, 19 of the hijackers came from Saudi Arabia. Are we seeing people crossing from Saudi Arabia and neighboring countries?
KRIKORIAN: Well, we're seeing people from all over the world crossing the Mexican border.
It's interesting that the opponents of immigration enforcement often say, well, you know, no terrorists have ever crossed the Mexican border, and that's actually no longer true.
There was a high up Hezbollah terrorist who was smuggled across the Mexican border by a ring that included a Mexican — at least one Mexican government official -- and they didn't find him until he was in Michigan and now he's locked up.
But I can pretty much guarantee you that some — that there are bad guys from the Middle East and other bad guys who have used the Mexican border as a way to get into the United States.
COLMES: Hey, Mark, it's Alan, welcome to the show. I don't know who is against enforcement of — you know, stopping illegals. It's a matter of what the right policy should be.
What about the Canadian border? I mean, should we be paying attention there? If it's easy for illegals or people from Saudi Arabia or any place else to get in through Mexico, isn't it even easier to get in through Canada? Why don't we ever pay attention to that border to the same extent?
KRIKORIAN: We do in fact pay attention to the Canadian border. But the fact is that the huge flow of humanity is coming across the Mexican border.
COLMES: But not terrorists. Not terrorists necessarily.
KRIKORIAN: To essentially use as cover. Terrorists have in fact used the Canadian border to come across. And the border patrol has done — has actually improved somewhat its patrolling of the Canadian border, but there's a lot of work to do on both sides, quite frankly.
COLMES: Well, we always seem to have this argument about the Mexican border. By the way, some congressmen want $253 million in funding to hire another 500 border patrol agents, but they can't seem to get that passed. We have a Republican House and Senate, a Republican president. Why aren't they doing this? Wouldn't this be the proper thing to do, to get more funding for this out of the homeland security budget?
KRIKORIAN: That's a good question, Alan. And this goes back to your idea that nobody is against enforcing the immigration law.
The fact is, there's a whole lot of people who are against enforcing the immigration law. Congress authorized 2,000 extra border patrol agents, and when the White House sent its proposed budget after that, they only asked for money for 200 or so, 250 agents because, you know, frankly they didn't want the extra money for that.
COLMES: Why do you think that is? Do you think it's political because they want the Hispanic vote?
KRIKORIAN: I think it's a lot of things. Part of it's that. Part of it is the demand by employers of cheap labor to make sure that the flow of low skilled labor continues, so that they don't have to give raises to their American workers.
And there's a whole nostalgia about Ellis Island and immigration and my grandma from Minsk and all of this that paralyzes people when they think about immigration.
HANNITY: Mark, we've got to run. Thanks for being with us.
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