OTR Interviews

Inside the 'babysitting,' influx, and Pres. Obama's lack of leadership at the border

One Congressman reports what he found and talked to overwhelmed border agents when he visited the southern border, illegal immigrant facilities


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," July 7, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Republican Representative Bob Goodlatte is just back from the border. He saw the crush of immigrant children being held at a Border Patrol station. He saw 15-year-old boy, a mother and her baby, apprehended.

Representative Goodlatte joins us. Good evening, sir.

REP. BOB GOODLATTE, R-VA.: Good to be with you, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: Obviously, you can see things are pretty hot and heated there.

GOODLATTE: Well, rightfully so. They are expressing their First Amendment rights. But the last message that the Tea Party member expressed I think is one that a lot of Americans share, and that is enforce the law.

VAN SUSTEREN: And you were down there on the border. What did you see?

GOODLATTE: Well, I see a lot of Border Patrol agents who are working very hard doing their job, working overtime, apprehending a far higher number of people than they were not too long ago, and then seeing them released into the interior of the country. So, we he have a very serious problem there.

And there is a lack of leadership, I think, on the part of the president in getting ahead of this issue, starting with dealing with the Mexican government and the governments of these three Central American countries and asking for their help. I have spoken with the leaders of the Mexican government, the foreign secretary, the Homeland Security secretary and the attorney general, who said they would like to work with the United States to secure their southern border with Guatemala to keep a lot of these people from coming into the country. The president could do other things in that regard. But he also could take a tough stance with regard to the applications as they come in and do what was done until not too long ago, and that is have a very jaundice view as to whether or not these people are entitled to political asylum or refugee status. They are not entitled to it.

When we talk to people there when we talk to the Border Patrol agents, they say that overwhelmingly what people say they want is to be reunified with their parents who are already illegally in the United States. So this means their parents left them in apparently this dangerous place, came to the United States, and now have paid a human trafficker thousand of dollars to bring their young child through 1400 miles of danger. Some are killed, some are maimed, some are diverted into sex trafficking. And then reunify them with them in the United States? That's the wrong thing to do.

VAN SUSTEREN: We only have a minute left. Why is this exploding all of a sudden? Why are these numbers? Why all of a sudden are people coming in the borders, young people? What happened that all of a sudden we are seeing so much of this?

GOODLATTE: I think the president sent the message when he began to do administrative legalization, things he doesn't have the authority to do as President of the United States. The word went forth to these countries. The human traffickers are the biggest advertisers down there. They say, pay me thousands of dollars, I know how to get you into the United States. I know what you can tell the Border Patrol folks when you get there if they apprehend you. And so many of them are just coming and turning themselves in very willfully, knowing that, after they are held for a few hours, they are going to be released into the interior of the United States. Adults with work authorization, children oftentimes sent to their parents who are already illegally here.

VAN SUSTEREN: This is situation that's been going on for a long time. I went to the president's speech in July in 2010 at American University on immigration. And at that time, he said something would be done. Here we are and things don't look good.

GOODLATTE: Because he hasn't done anything during that time, it has magnified. We have now a 1300 percent increase in the number of people since last year, and projected to be close to 2500 percent increase by next year. 150,000 people next year.

VAN SUSTEREN: We need something. We need to fix this because it's obviously a problem.

Congressman, thank you, sir.

GOODLATTE: Thank you, Greta.