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Hannity

EXCLUSIVE! Our Cameras Catch Drug Smugglers at the U.S.-Mexican Border

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," July 30, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Pima County, Arizona, is one of the busiest crossing points for illegal immigrants and drug smugglers trying to enter the United States. Now, the situation has gotten so bad that the Pima County sheriff has created a new border crime unit targeting drug and weapons smugglers.

Now, our cameras got an exclusive look as this elite new unit tracked a group of drug smugglers through the desert. Let's take a look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're going northbound.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of our observation posts picked up illegal foot traffic going across. They're carrying backpacks. More than likely carrying drugs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Policia! Let me see your hands. Get on the ground. Get on the ground.

Ten-12. We're 26 route second.

Cover — yes, cover his back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No se mueve. Ahorita.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got six.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's see, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, at least.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Joining us now from Tucson is Pima County Sheriff, Clarence Dupnik.

Now, Sheriff, our cameras were with you this past Thursday, Friday and Saturday when this was taped, correct?

SHERIFF CLARENCE DUPNIK, PIMA COUNTY SHERIFF: That's correct.

HANNITY: Is this the type of thing that we're watching here, these drug smugglers, is this the type of thing that you and your agents see on an almost daily basis?

DUPNIK: It's a regular issue, Sean.

HANNITY: I mean, this is what's frustrating to me when, nearly six years after 9/11, is it fair for me to state — and you're on the front lines — I've been down there five times — that our borders are still wide open? Is that a fair statement?

That our enemies, drug dealers can get across pretty much when they want, because we don't have most of the area secure?

DUPNIK: Sean, there are places along the Arizona-Mexico border where you could get a battleship across with nobody noticing.

HANNITY: And that's my point. And having been there with you and your agents, I've seen great work. When you have enough agents, enough resources, the technology, the helicopters, the horses and the all-terrain vehicles, you can do the job. We just don't have enough resources and men. Isn't that the problem?

DUPNIK: That's exactly correct.

HANNITY: Now, we just had this big debate over amnesty. But now the Republicans have come out with the 2007 Secure the Borders Act first, which will hire 24,000 new agents, will build the fence, and will use the new technologies. It will use four Predator drones. Would that be enough to solve the problem?

DUPNIK: In my estimation, Sean, and I have been working on the border my whole life, almost 50 years, I don't know that there's any reasonable solution to the problem.

There are a number of things that can be done to secure the border, and what the Senate did a few days ago, I think, is a very good first step, and I think we need to — to do more when it comes to securing the border.

But to try to implement other facets of immigration without securing the border makes no sense to me.

HANNITY: I agree with you. But I want to understand you clearly here. If we built the double-layer fence, if we hired 20,000 new agents, hire them, train them, get them on the border, if we used the Predator drones, if we used surveillance cameras and we did it across the entire border, you don't think we'd have the capability of having 100 percent security at our borders?

DUPNIK: I'm not convinced that we could do that, Sean.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Why?

DUPNIK: I don't know that that's reasonable.

COLMES: Sheriff, it's Alan Colmes. Welcome to our show. Why is that? Why would that not work?

DUPNIK: Well, first of all, if you look at the Arizona-Mexico border, it's a very difficult terrain. To try to build a two-layer fence and then respond to the areas that are very, very difficult and inaccessible would still present great problems to us. People who really wanted to come across, like drug smugglers, will find a way to do it.

COLMES: So what's the solution, according to you?

DUPNIK: I'm not sure there is a solution. But I think we need — we are going in the right direction. Right now, the border is too porous, and there are things that can be done, and what the Senate did, I think, is a step in the right direction.

COLMES: What else can be done, if you think this is not enough? What specifically do you think needs to be added to make the border safer?

DUPNIK: Well, I think I'm frustrated with our government's inability to deal with Mexico. The Mexicans, in fact — one of the reasons that you saw what you just saw a few days ago with the backpackers...

COLMES: Yes.

DUPNIK: ... is because the Mexican government ferries — protects these people up to the border and then, once they cross the border, they're on their own. And that's why you see all these backpacks.

COLMES: So it's a matter of a diplomatic solution and having a relationship with Mexico so that they do certain things on their end to stop the problem before it gets so close to the border in the first place?

DUPNIK: Well, I think they encourage the problem. There's no doubt about it. There's so much money involved. Illicit drugs and immigration are two very important economic facets to their economy, and I don't think they do enough to discourage it.

COLMES: What's the likelihood — because you say this happens every day, and we have on video, as we've been showing you what happened when we were down there. What's the likelihood of a smuggler getting caught if he's going to bring this kind of contraband over the border?

DUPNIK: The likelihood is — estimates vary between 10 and 20 percent of the stuff that comes across the border is actually apprehended. But I'm not sure those figures are accurate, and I'm not sure that anybody really knows.

HANNITY: All right, Sheriff, thanks for the good work you're doing. We appreciate you letting our cameras go out with you this weekend. And we appreciate your time, sir.

DUPNIK: Thank you.

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