OTR Interviews

Texas Congresswoman: Napolitano 'Delusional' About Border's Safety

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," April 11, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: It doesn't stop. The violence in Mexico is escalating. In just 96 hours last week, 41 people were executed. Just two days later two Americans were shot dead near the border execution-style.

So how much more of a wake-up call does the White House need? Texas congresswoman Kay Granger is fired up. She recently wrote Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano an absolutely blistering letter. Congresswoman Granger told us all about it.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VAN SUSTEREN: Congresswoman, nice to see you.

REP. KAY GRANGER, R-TEXAS: Good to see you.

VAN SUSTEREN: You just came back from Mexico. You wrote a blistering letter to Secretary of Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano, why?

GRANGER: I did because I had just come back. I chair the committee that does the funding for our help in Mexico. We traveled around seeing what the danger was. I came back to hear her say that the border was safe that it had never been safer which is not the situation.

I'm still astonished. I wrote her and said you are wrong. How can you do this? Administration cabinet needs to be accurate and precise. Why would the state department say we have travel warnings and the secretary saying it is safe?

VAN SUSTEREN: The letter is blistering. You say, "Your comments," meaning the secretary's, "are also in direct contradiction to the repeated warnings of the State Department" as you just mentioned. I say -- that sounds like she is delusional.

GRANGER: It is a delusion she thinks the border is safe. Mexico is doing a valiant job. They are working very hard and we are helping. They are making progress. But when you say that when Juarez, Mexico right across the border from El Paso had 41 murders in one week, I'm a former mayor, 41 in one year is bad, 41 in one week is astonishing. Or Phoenix, Arizona with 260 kidnappings.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why is she saying that? I traveled with Secretary Napolitano. The numbers are going up in terms of -- protection. The fact is it is getting worse. We looked the numbers of Americans killed in Mexico 2008, 49, 2009 it up to 77, 2010 it up to 109.

GRANGER: You can't improve if you won't recognize reality. The reality s it is very dangerous. It is right on our border and we've got to do the appropriate things. My subcommittee was there and foreign operations. I served on the Homeland Security committee. I know what I'm talking about. You do too. I don't know how in the world she could say, secretary of Homeland Security, that it is different.

VAN SUSTEREN: I traveled to Afghanistan and Mexico with the state department on one occasion. In Afghanistan in armored vehicles when I travel with the state department in Mexico we are in armored vehicles. For the United States to act like Mexico doesn't have that problem is extraordinary to me.

It is extraordinary. I was astonished, and that's why I wrote that blistering letter.

VAN SUSTEREN: What should we do? Something needs to be done.

GRANGER: I chair the committee that funds our help with Mexico. That's why we were there to see what is happening to make sure we are doing what we need to do from the United States because it is our border. Working with Mexico and the United States, to make our border safe or safer we have to cooperate and we are. But you can't declare it safe today.

VAN SUSTEREN: Maybe I'm wrong. Secretary Napolitano is as good as her resources. I thought maybe Congress wasn't giving her the resources to fight this. Did she get everything she asked for?

GRANGER: As far as I know. The Meredith Initiative is what it is called. We've been funding it to the tune of $1.4 billion, significant funding. We were there to say are we doing the right thing? You have to ask Mexico with our people that are helping and saying, what is the most necessary equipment, training, what do we do today if it changes?

VAN SUSTEREN: What about President Obama, does he get it?

GRANGER: We are not paying enough attention to our neighbor.

VAN SUSTEREN: Does it matter?

GRANGER: Of course it does. Look at the Americans who have been killed. Again, our neighbor, and this may sound trite but it is not. You want your neighbor to be safe and you want your neighbor to be prosperous and have hope and progress. We need to have that, but we have to work closely.

Again, I think we are. I think the Mexican government is learning but making progress, particularly, in professionalizing its police. That's what has to happen. So changes in its court, and they are doing that.

VAN SUSTEREN: But it is tough.

GRANGER: It is very tough.

VAN SUSTEREN: Congresswoman, thank you.

GRANGER: Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)