Sec. Michael Chertoff on Border Fence

This is a rush transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," April 3, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: In the meantime, my next guest, who is in charge of securing that border, says he's going to keep moving ahead with the fence, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.

Secretary, thanks to you for speaking with us.


CAVUTO: What do you make of this, that maybe it is just an issue of more manpower?

CHERTOFF: Well, I think it requires both, more fencing and more manpower.

We actually agree with Governor Perry. We are not proposing to put fence along the entire 1,200 to 1,300 miles of the border of Texas. We agree that there are some places where fencing makes sense, about 10 percent of the border in the metropolitan areas.

Watch the video of Neil's interview with Michael Chertoff

But we're also doubling the size of the Border Patrol. And that's why we are adding those boots on the ground, we are adding unmanned aerial vehicles, we are adding technology and sensors. So, we are doing all of the things that Governor Perry talked about.

CAVUTO: Well, I guess his read is that you are not doing enough of it.

Is it a matter of just the number of border agents, or where they are posted?

CHERTOFF: Well, I can tell you, for example, that we have — in the last year-and-a-half, we have brought on 4,000 additional Border Patrol agents.

Now, of course, they don't only go to Texas. They're also in Arizona, in New Mexico, in California, as well. So, the governor may not have visibility into everything that we are doing. And some of the areas where there has been the most trafficking has been Arizona, in Yuma sector and Tucson sector. So, that is where we are putting the most boots on the ground.

But if you look at everything that we are doing, including in Texas, we have done more in the last year-and-a-half to two years than has ever been done before in the history of the country to secure that Southwest border.

CAVUTO: Let me ask you, do you get any fear here that is shared by the governor and others that, if you don't build the wall or even where — where you do build the wall, you just chase illegals to another area to hop over?

CHERTOFF: Well, I think that a wall is not, in and of itself, a total solution. But what a wall will do is, it will move people away from areas where they can easily vanish or melt into the population into more remote areas.

And once we move them into more remote areas, then we have a better capability to detect them, to intercept them, and to apprehend them before they wind up vanishing into the interior.


Secretary, thank you. Very good seeing you again.

CHERTOFF: Good to be on.

CAVUTO: Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.


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