OTR Interviews

Ariz. Rancher Pleads with Congress to Control the Border at the Border

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," April 18, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Imagine this frightening scenario. Dangerous Mexican drug cartels are armed and scouting the area outside your home, looking for a way to illegally bring drugs across the border. Now, that scene is everyday life for rancher Jim Chilton and his family. But now he's telling his terrifying stories before Congress.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIM CHILTON, ARIZONA RANCHER: Ranchers in the border area cannot leave their houses unguarded for a few hours since their homes are likely to be broken into if someone is not there. We live with weapons near our bed. Our doors have weapons next to them. We have weapons in our vehicles and we attach weapons in our scabbards on our saddles.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: Jim Chilton lives on the U.S. border with Mexico and he is demanding national security. He joins us live from Arizona. Good evening, sir. And sir, tell me -- you have quite a large ranch, I understand about 50,000 acres. How many acres actually border the U.S. and Mexico?

CHILTON: Four -- I have four square -- I have four miles of Mexico border -- four miles.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is that border...

CHILTON: It's just a regular...

VAN SUSTEREN: I was going to say is there a fence there or any kind of barricade there?

CHILTON: No. There's a regular fence, like people see along the side of a highway. The highway-type fence is the only thing that exists. There are no signs. There is no way anyone would ever know it was the international border. We don't have a wall, like we were promised.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is the -- I know you've been burglarized twice, sir, so I'm -- since you're down there, you face this every single day. What -- what should be done?

CHILTON: The border patrol should have the authority in terms of national security to do anything they want near the border. They should be able to build roads. They should be able to put helopads in on top of mountains. They should be able to scout the mountains to look for the scouts.

VAN SUSTEREN: Are you and your family scared?

CHILTON: I'm a cowboy, and I'm tough and I'm not really scared.

VAN SUSTEREN: How about any of your friends or relatives in the area, are they scared at all?

CHILTON: I have rancher friends that are. And I have friends that have moved from our community because of the concern of the AK-47-packing cartels coming across the border and packing their drugs and smuggling people.

VAN SUSTEREN: Have you ever seen anyone cross the border on your property?

CHILTON: Literally thousands. I was riding horseback one day and I rode up on a little hill, and I think there was probably 125 people. They ducked under the mesquite trees, and like quail hide, and I waved and went on. We see them all the time. At one time, I think 30,000 or 40,000 people crossed my ranch each year.

VAN SUSTEREN: Jim, thank you, and good luck. I hope Congress listens to you. Thank you, sir.

CHILTON: Thank you.