This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," April 3, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Our top story tonight, it takes us to the U.S.-Mexican border in Arizona, where the Minutemen have begun patrolling once again. The video you're looking at was shot just hours ago and shows a snapshot of the waves of illegal immigrants that have been surging across the border in the Arizona desert.
The founder of the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps, Chris Simcox, joins us from the border.
Chris, welcome back to our show.
CHRIS SIMCOX, MINUTEMAN CIVIL DEF. CORPS: Thanks, Alan.
COLMES: Let me ask you: What do you hope to accomplish now, because the mission you're now talking about is for a limited time and a limited place, so what's the goal here?
SIMCOX: The goal always is to assist the good men and women of Border Patrol and to assist them when our U.S. government will not, President Bush, the Senate — they don't get the resources they need.
You know, Alan, on the way here, less than 10 minutes ago, we just rescued nine individuals along with Don Goldwater and Bill Montgomery, the next governor and attorney general of Arizona. I mean, they're everybody. This is an expressway and Border Patrol needs our help.
Since we began — we've been working 72 hours so far — 308 sightings, 91 apprehensions, and six rescues. Our government should be ashamed.
COLMES: Gus Soto, a spokesperson for the Border Patrol, says there is some concerns about having armed groups in a heavily traffic area. What are you doing to make sure there are no problems?
SIMCOX: We always screen our volunteers, Alan, and you know that. We've been working out here for 4 1/2 years. There's never been one incident of any Minutemen or any citizen volunteer taking the law into their own hands. We are well-regulated, responsible, concerned citizens who are out here doing our duty to help with the Department of Homeland Security, doing the job that the president and the Congress won't do.
COLMES: Why allow them to have guns, though? If you want to have people, have them watch, have them report what they see, but why guns?
SIMCOX: Alan, this is a dangerous place. There are drug dealers. Our group in California yesterday came across some drug "mules," one of them carrying an AR-15. You know, our volunteers — thank God for the Second Amendment — are allowed to defend their lives if they're attacked. And when they put themselves in this dangerous situation, the same as the men and woman of Border Patrol, they have that right.
COLMES: You know, you say the Congress doesn't do anything. But as we speak, you know, there's a lot of negotiating back and forth, trying to figure out just what to do, on what scale to do it, including Border Patrol, increased Border Patrol, increased resources, what to do with 12 million people here. That's been negotiated and being negotiated as we speak, so it is being addressed.
SIMCOX: You know, we don't need negotiations, Alan. Come on. It's four and a half years past September 11. We keep negotiating. We keep having studies. We keep debating the issue while people are dying in the desert.
American citizens are victims of the crime wave coming into this country. And as another news agency reported today, 300,000 people from the Middle East were apprehended coming into this country last year.
This is a clear and present danger. It is the greatest threat to national security and public safety. The time for negotiating is over.
COLMES: Well, that's what they do between the Senate and the House.
SIMCOX: ... the National Guard and U.S. military.
COLMES: I mean, that's how legislation gets done, it's in negotiation.
SIMCOX: How about the president — we don't need legislation. We need our military and National Guard on our border to support Homeland Security, and we need to enforce our laws. While we do that, then we can negotiate how to come up with immigration reform.
COLMES: You talk about people from the Middle East coming over our borders, but isn't it true that, in the area where you're patrolling, it's mostly people from Mexico? It's not Middle Easterners coming over the borders where you are.
SIMCOX: That's not true. We've assisted Border Patrol with locating people from Brazil and with Russia — from Russia — in this exact location. That's not true at all. Last year, Border Patrol apprehended people from 82 countries.
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: But, Chris, I don't even see how that would be a good argument anyway, because if somebody can come here because they want a job, so, too, can the enemies of our country. I guess what we're saying here is, if you believe it's a national security issue — there's a vulnerability issue here, correct?
SIMCOX: Absolutely. We are so vulnerable. And the good men and women of Border Patrol will tell you that.
I mean, they come under attack. We're being attacked by people from a foreign country. Is that not terrorism in its own right? And it's such a threat. And I wish the Border Patrol agents could speak up and tell you how they fear for their lives and how they fear for this country.
HANNITY: Right. I want to talk about the video that we keep airing here, because some of this was shot by other Minutemen. Some of it was shot by our FOX reporters that are down there on the scene. We hadn't aired it before.
You said, in the time now that you started this patrol, that 308 sightings of illegal immigrants that you had on private land?
SIMCOX: That's right, and covering just a 10-mile sector of this border, Sean. It's a virtual human tidal wave coming across, and I've worked this area before, many times. I've never seen the numbers like we're seeing now.
And as we interviewed one of the groups last night, they said, "Hey, we're coming for amnesty." It's well-known across the border that our government's not going to enforce the laws.
HANNITY: Let's talk — there's a report out tonight, Chris, that there is an Arizona state official who apparently is assisting or helping people to cross the border. — Is that true that you're claiming that?
SIMCOX: That's right. There's a state rep that has been out here working with Humane Borders and the Samaritan groups and the virulent anti-American ACLU group. And they've been out here scouting our lines, using radios, radioing back to the camps where the migrants are stopped for water. They're providing humanitarian aid, and they're directing them around our lines. I think that's facilitating illegal behavior.
HANNITY: Yes. Now, look, Chris, I've been down there at the border with you. I've made the case, and I think the Border Patrol agents — because I've been on their helicopters, I've been out in the water with them, I've been on horseback, I've been on their sport utility vehicles.
And the thing that impressed me the most about the border agents is, when they specifically target or desire to cordon off a particular area, they're successful at it. So if we give them, in other words, the infrastructure, if we give them the manpower, they can do the job.
You're pointing out the same thing here, that if you target a particular area, the job can be done. What's the number of people that needed to be hired here? I mean, the bill in the Senate, I think, is talking about 14,000 people. Is that enough?
SIMCOX: No, not enough. And what you have to consider is they're talking about phasing in 14,000 over the next five years. Our Border Patrol organization can only train about 1,400 a year. They also lose about 1,000 agents a year through attrition.
It's status quo. Charlie Norwood and Tom Tancredo sent military experts to this border during April. They studied the situation. It would take about 36,000 National Guard personnel to secure this border. And the president could do that with an executive order in six weeks.
HANNITY: Well, the bottom line is the bill that is being discussed in the Senate, in my view, ostensibly is amnesty. Do you see it the same way? And what does that mean for the entire issue?
SIMCOX: Well, we call it "shamnesty." And Senators McCain and Kennedy and the rest of the Senate should be shamed out of office for refusing to enforce the laws of this nation. There's no place for any elected official in our government who refuses to enforce the law.
It's nothing but amnesty. And, again, they've got the cart before the horse. You secure that border now, immediately. And, by the way, 7,000 volunteers are out here this month to help you do it. Enforce the laws, then we'll talk about a guest-worker program.
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