This is a partial transcript of "The Big Story With John Gibson," January 13, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
JOHN GIBSON, HOST: The GOP could be headed for a showdown over the issue of immigration reform. A member of the Republican National Committee has managed to arrange for a vote on a resolution calling for tougher immigration and border enforcement. The measure also opposes the president's guest worker program.
We're joined now by Randy Pullen, the national committeeman who sponsored the resolution.
So Randy, you have gotten the requisite signatures together and you're going to be able to present this resolution before the Republican National Committee. If it's passed, would that mean that it carries the weight of policy for the RNC?
RANDY PULLEN, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: That would put the RNC on record as being for securing our borders and also for ending illegal workers in the workplace.
GIBSON: All right. So I'm just trying to get clear on what it is you want. You want the border toughened up, a wall or whatever measure has to be taken so that illegals cannot cross. You want employers sanctioned for hiring illegals. I take it just whatever laws are already on the books enforced, right?
PULLEN: John, that's essentially correct. I'd like to compare it to what happened in New Orleans. The levy broke, and the first thing we did was fix the levy. And that's what we need to do here. We need to fix our borders, secure the borders and then focus on resolving the issues with illegal immigration. That's what the House supported in the bill they passed out before Christmas. And I believe that is the correct approach to solving the problem.
GIBSON: All right. Well, I don't think there's a lot of disagreement about that. But where push comes to shove is the issue of legal immigration. That is, letting some of these people who now cross as illegals come in as legal workers. Where are you on that?
PULLEN: Well, let's don't forget every year — last year we let in 1.4 million legal immigrants into this country. So it's not like we're not letting immigrants into the country. The issue is we have illegal immigration going on.
I live in Arizona. I literally live in a war zone. We have drug lords and crime syndicates that essentially control the other side of the border. And we have coyotes bringing in people every night. It's thousands.
And as we begin talking about and debate about another guest worker program and amnesty, what happens is there is a speed up in the number of people coming across the border. So we need to put that to an end.
GIBSON: But Randy, I'm trying to get it clear. There may be 1.4 million workers, people coming into this country every year, but zero cheap workers from Mexico legally. They are all illegal. Would you support any legal immigration from Mexico of these very low-skilled, cheap laborers?
PULLEN: What I will support is the visa programs we have on the books right now that bring in already tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands that are coming into the country right now on work visas and go home. I would support that.
I don't support giving any legal status to those that are already here. That would just open up the floodgates to having more coming in this country, and then what you do when you get them here and they say they are going to be here two or four years, whatever the number is, what happens then? Are they then just going to go home? Of course they are not.
GIBSON: Randy Pullen, a member of the Republican National Committee. He has put a resolution before the committee on a very tough approach to illegal immigration. Randy, thanks a lot.
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