Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Transcript: MSNBC's The Situation with Tucker Carlson, Nov. 21

Colin Hanna was interviewed on Monday, Nov. 21 on MSNBC's "The Situation with Tucker Carlson."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we don‘t fix the illegal immigration problem at the border, the problem will grow in far more dangerous ways. Because illegal immigration from Mexico provides easy cover for terrorists. They try to exploit our weak immigration laws and blend in with thousands who cross the border day and night, leaving this county vulnerable to another attack. We need to secure the border. Go to to learn more.


CARLSON: That‘s one of two new ads sponsored by the group Let Freedom Ring, part of a project called The group says it‘s time for the U.S. to seal off its 2,000-mile border with Mexico using a state of the art fence. The idea is gaining momentum.

Here to talk about it, Colin Hanna. He‘s the president of Let Freedom Ring and joins us live tonight from Philadelphia.

Mr. Hanna, thanks for coming on.


CARLSON: What I find impressive about this is you are not sponsored -

this is not a lobby group, essentially. I mean, you don‘t have big business behind you.

HANNA: We don‘t have any business behind us.

CARLSON: That‘s right, exactly.

HANNA: Entirely personal contributions.

CARLSON: You don‘t have labor behind you. You don‘t have the Bush administration behind you. They are, of course, pooh-poohing this and saying it‘s far too expensive, $8 billion, and that‘s just for the first time if memory they‘re complaining about the expense of something.

But is $8 billion—give me some perspective. Is that what it costs?

HANNA: We estimate $8 billion based on an estimate of $2 million to $4 million a mile, which I think is realistic—might even be a little bit on the high side—times 2,000 miles. That gets you to $4 to $8 billion.

And to put that into perspective, if you look at it in national defense terms, it‘s roughly the cost of four B-2 bombers. So, I think it‘s a lot of money to be sure, but I think it‘s in scale with the importance of the issue.

CARLSON: Would it work?

HANNA: Well, I think that it would work. The fence that we are proposing is a little bit different than any fence that‘s proposed right now. You know, Congressman Duncan Hunter from the San Diego area of California has recently proposed a two-element fence with a patrol road between them.

We have proposed a six-element fence that is modeled after the Israeli fences on the West Bank and in Gaza that consist of a barbed wire element, a ditch, a tall and sturdy steel fence that is heavier duty than a chain link fence but not a solid fence, followed by a patrol road. And then the same elements in the other direction, fence, ditch and barbed wire, comprising about 50 yards in total width.

That means that it can‘t be easily compromised. You can‘t take a ladder down to the border and simply climb other it. You can‘t go to your local hardware store and bolt cutters or wire cutters and cut through it, and you can‘t easily tunnel under it.

And we also recommend that it be accompanied by detection devices that will detect motion, as well as any attempted intrusion through tunneling underneath and so on.

CARLSON: And you can do that for the price of four bombers?

HANNA: That‘s—that‘s our estimate. It‘s an order of magnitude estimate. We‘re actually having an engineering company right now do a tighter estimate that has been requested by one of the House of Representatives committees that I might have a chance to testify before. We think it‘s a pretty good estimate, but we‘re going to get tighter numbers soon.

CARLSON: So give me the—this is always an interesting exercise. Give me the argument against it in three sentences approximately. Why could someone be against this? How could somebody say, “I‘m against illegal immigration, but I‘m also against the fence”? What‘s the argument?

HANNA: Well, some think that it‘s symbolically unfriendly, but our proposal includes 200 border crossing points. And we stress that we are absolutely in favor of immigration. We‘re trying to stop illegal immigration, not legal immigration.

And we want to continue to stand as the beacon of opportunity for the world, the economy that most people want to come to. So, we try to put forth a very friendly and open and welcoming viewpoint. We sometimes say that we‘re trying to close the back door to illegal immigration while keeping the front door open to legal immigration.


HANNA: But the people who oppose it never listen all the way through, and their initial, instinctive and occasionally emotional reaction is that it seems unfriendly. But it doesn‘t need to.

CARLSON: I frankly don‘t understand the motivation behind opposition to this fence. I don‘t understand the argument, and I hope we can get someone on to explain it, because I‘m baffled by it.

Finally, do you think—is this going to happen? That you can get it through Congress?

HANNA: I think it has a very good chance of happening, Tucker. We‘ve made enormous progress since we began the initiative back in August. There are now three fence bills in Congress. Various portions of them will be probably be cobbled together into a comprehensive immigration reform bill that might even be one that comes out of the House Judiciary committee or the House Homeland Security Committee, possibly in the first week in December.

So I think that there‘s a good chance the Senate is going to take it up next year. And I think we‘ve got a great deal of public support. There‘s probably no issue on which the public and political leadership are further apart than on this issue. On this one, the public is leading.

CARLSON: Amen. I absolutely agree with that. Colin Hanna, I wish you every success. I really hope this works. Thanks so much.

HANNA: Thank you, Tucker.

CARLSON: Be sure to tune in Sunday night at 9 p.m. Eastern for a special in-depth look at illegal immigration in “CROSSING THE LINE: THE BATTLE AT AMERICA‘S BORDER.” It will be hosted by Lester Holt here on MSNBC. We‘ll look at why the system doesn‘t seem to be working. We‘ll also bring you the actual response from people on both sides of the issue. This Sunday at 9 p.m., right here on MSNBC.


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At Wed Nov 23, 02:31:00 PM 2005, Blogger Tony said...

Can anyone help me out here; I grew up in New Mexico, and as long as I can remember the public has been talking about needing more security at the boarder. And every time it seems all we get out of Washington (both Republican and Democrat administrations) is a handful more boarder patrol officers.

What do these people in Washington know that the rest of us do not? They campaign on boarder security, then get to Washington and let it drop.

I thought for sure after 9/11 something would get done, but again a handful of officers and let it drop. Why have we been talking about this for twenty plus years, and Washington sits on it's hands?

I LOVE the idea for the fence, but my guess is, it will take another terrorist attack on our country, where the perpetrators snuck accross the boarder, for those in DC to move a muscle.

At Thu Nov 24, 06:08:00 AM 2005, Blogger tim lane said...

Instead of relating the cost of building the fence to the cost of 4 B-2 Bombers, compare it to impact illegal immigration is having on state and federal budgets for entitlements and healthcare. I'm sure 11 million illegal immigrants are getting well more than $8,000,000,000.00 PER YEAR in direct and indirect benefits courtesy of the US taxpayer.

At Thu Nov 24, 11:14:00 AM 2005, Blogger Obstreperous said...

I support this wall! I am down here by the border and live with this issue daily. Here is what I wrote recently in my blog.

Congressman Duncan Hunter (R) California is to propose a Bill for a wall all along the Mexican border to stop illegal border crossings. Critics of the Bill say that 8 Billion dollars is too much to spend. Let's do the math: In the last year Arizona spent 1.3 BILLION on Healthcare, Education and Incarceration for illegal immigrants, California spent 10.5 BILLION, New Mexico spent 2.3 BILLION, Texas spent 4.65 BILLION. These States foot the bill by themselves and are all nearly on the brink of collapse! We have been begging for some relief from the Feds, where are they?? We have had to resort to creating the Minutemen Project to do the job ourselves. Why? Critics also attempt to justify a "No" answer by looking at the number of non-Mexican immigrants that come up from Mexico through the border in the interest of Homeland Security. ONE GUY flew each plane into the World Trade Center!!!!!!!! And suicide bombers.....ONE GUY!!!! Why don't we ask ONE FAMILY that lost a loved one to terrorism if they think 8 billion is worth it?

At Thu Nov 24, 04:05:00 PM 2005, Blogger Intelligence Summit said...


At Fri Nov 25, 09:48:00 PM 2005, Blogger MAX Redline said...

This is long overdue, and I'm glad to see that it's finally gaining some traction.

I've linked to this site and to the interview at intelligence summit on my own blog. I may not have a lotta cash, but I have affiliations....

At Sat Nov 26, 02:05:00 PM 2005, Blogger lconnock said...

So, we go to Iraq to try to "liberate" people there, and force our democracy and our way of life there. Shame on us arrogant Americans. Why do we think our culture is so much better than theirs?? (atleast we should believe this to be true, if you listen to some of the nutballs out there.)

Why then is it ok for hoards of people to come to our country and try to change our culture? Why are we also looked at as terrible, arrogant Americans if we don't want people changing the way we live? Don't get me wrong, I am not against immigration, but I do believe that people should be expected to assimilate, just like our ancestors did 50 years ago. The first half of the last century, people (no matter where they were from) came to our country, poor, but looking for a new life. They learned the language, they didn't expect handouts (and didn't get them either), and they worked from the bottom, the crappiest, dirtiest jobs out there. Yes, even the white people did.

If we don't stop our immigration problems, and soon, the very fabric of our country will be destroyed.

At Tue Nov 29, 11:46:00 AM 2005, Blogger 19 and sick of these people said...

I believe this fence idea is one of the best solutions I've heard yet. I have had first hand problems with illegal immigrants. These poeple are making it as far as Minnesota nd Wisconsin, and making it difficult for Americans to find jobs when we are in need, all because these people work for $1.00 an hour. I'll leave an example:

While residing in Lawrence Kansas (I was 17 at the time) I desperately needed a job to help out around the house, I applied all over the city and was turned down time and again because my salary expectations were too high. I expected at least $6.00 dollars an hour, at every one of these places there were people in the kitchen, or cleaning floors, and sidewalks, speaking spanish, what does this say to you?
Finally, I landed a job at a local Burger King only to find I was the only American worker there, aside from a manager, these Mexican men were constantly asking me to be their 'novia', which means 'girlfriend' in spanish. Eventually it turned into them hounding me at my home and in the downtown area to ask me to marry them or be their 'novia', and we all know why they want an American wife or girlfriend, don't we?. I couldn't even go to the local pool hall without seeing them there and being hounded by Mexican men trying to speak english and make advances toward me, ultimately it drove me to move back to Minnesota only to find that my hometown is now beginnig to face the same problem. Right now it may be two six-seating vans full of Mexicans but I'm positive that's the way it started out in Southern California and all the other states that face this problem.
I don't think I need to say exactly what the Mexican women that can't find jobs do to make their money, but this causes yet another problem for those of us trying to live the life promised to us when we were born into this country. Why should our teenage generations have to beg for jobs when these illegals can land jobs merely because they'll work for lesser wages? Why should we American women and men be hounded by these people merely so their status in America will be declared legal? I believe the fence can help alleviate these problems and the concerns of us who have faced these problems with illegals first hand.

At Fri Dec 02, 10:37:00 PM 2005, Blogger harryhood said...

What about Canada? Do terrorist just not like the Canadian border?

At Sun Dec 04, 03:17:00 AM 2005, Blogger TrueAmerican said...

Seriously, these Mexicans have no right impeding on our way of life. What have they done to earn the right to encrouch on our terrotory? NOTHING! We created this land, and we have a divine right to it. These illigals are causing nothing but pain and sorrow and monetary loss to us true Americans. I can not tell you how many of my friend have lost work to these disgraces. Because of these Illegales I have had many friends that have lost their jobs becasue they do not wish to work for less than $4.00 an hour. THEY TOOK OUR JOBS! If a wall is not raised I say we take other appropriate measures. After all they are here illegally. We should have complete control of them. Any illegal found here should be proceced and turned into a facility so that they cannot return. In this facility, they will be worked and used for their Latin brute. This will teach them that they cannot steal from Americans. We are the most powerful nation in the world for a reason...becasue we earned it through integrity. These illegals should only be returned to their native land when the wall is complete! THEY TOOK OUR JOBS!

At Sun Dec 04, 04:59:00 PM 2005, Blogger MxPx1484 said...

I must say I disagree with most of you, but trueamerican really knows the score. I think these "labor camps" would be a way to turn a bad into a good.

At Wed Dec 07, 06:35:00 AM 2005, Blogger tom said...

This seems to me a perfectly sensible action to address the problems upon us. It is not without a degree of sadness that I accept the ramifications. The planet, our home, can no longer support the population imbalance. This is the primary problem, discussed for decades ad nauseum. Nature will and is retaliating. I pray we have not crossed the point of no return. This is closing the door to the final lifeboat, the gesture is a beginning, one I wholeheartedly endorse and will serve, Lord forgive me for seeking solace in the feeble comfort its creaking beams afford while turning my head to the thrashing of those still in the icy sea. I am grateful and proud to be an American. If the world insists on its inevitable suicidal path we alone cannot save it and must act within it to insure our survival. History, if there is to be one will judge our choices, but I belive this to be best. Right and wrong is a luxury we cannot afford as the complexities of our time dictate we must trust and support those we have chosen and elected to lead us. They have been entrusted by us and are aware of much we are not. In a short period over two centuries our country has grown with its Constitution from wilderness to the dominant force on earth. It is time for all Americans to choose and act, fully accepting responsibility for the consequences, with her or against her. To not act at this time is to indulge in the vacant and shallow complacency of indecisiveness.....of which too many, myself included, have existed too long. I fear we have waited too long, I pray we have not.

"I labour for peace, but when I speak unto them thereof they make them ready to battle."

6th verse of Psalm CXX of The Book of Common Prayer.... and opening quote.....
Failure of a Mission
Sir Nevile Henderson
October 1939

sunrise...December Seventh....2005
december seventh...a date which will live in Infamy

At Thu Dec 08, 10:13:00 AM 2005, Blogger tom said...

an attempt at thought provocation, thrown into blackness, a sun cycle, no echo........
interesting our daily remembrances- 12/07 Pearl Harbor
12/08 destruction of a culture symbol from front of the Dakota
-odd how priorities shift-
how impactful the events occuring on a particular a date in history must be to arise from the memory at the bottom of a sulci

At Thu Dec 08, 10:20:00 AM 2005, Blogger tom said...

exceeding a self imposed limit already.....flipped on a radio...random....Kerry...terrorizing women children and kids....they should be doing it themselves????? can not purchase better entertainment...

At Sun Dec 11, 09:41:00 AM 2005, Blogger tom said...


At Mon Dec 12, 01:02:00 AM 2005, Blogger katman770 said...

Has anyone thought about this? What if this is all a game to get you to want what the united nations wants. I mean, what if, the border fence is built because you say you want it, but then the real reason is not to keep the mexican out but to keep you in? You ever thought of this? The Hegelian dialectic comes to mind here. Problem, reaction, solution and all the time you think you are solving a problem but in reality you are doing what the leaders of this world want. Ladies and gentlemen, do not fall prey to knee jerk solutions to complex problems. We lived for over 200 years without a fence anywhere , now all of a sudden we need one. Why now? The answer to this problem is to observe the laws we have now on the books and to make changes in welfare and citizenship where needed. Will cool heads prevail or will this whole thing become a race war? This is what I am thinking now. This race thing is a problem. While we fight each other the real crooks are getting away with what they do best, stealing lying and cheating. Turn around and look at them. They are your own government and I bet you thought you were free. Just how free do you feel these days? Remember this. You will rue the day you put up a barrier on our borders. Mark my words. Many of you will live to see what is coming. It is here now. The enemy is here in our midst....He is us...

At Tue Dec 13, 01:10:00 AM 2005, Blogger MxPx1484 said...

Tom wrote:
"This seems to me a perfectly sensible action to address the problems upon us. It is not without a degree of sadness that I accept the ramifications. The planet, our home, can no longer support the population imbalance.

Hey Tom, maybe several decades from now you may be right, but not now. Although poetic, your arguement has no validity. The world can't support its population? Where did you get that from? Certainly not from every commonly accepted theaory that a little over 9 billion people will be the point at which the world's population begins to level off.

At Tue Dec 13, 01:11:00 AM 2005, Blogger MxPx1484 said...

And in response to katman:
Just so you know, the United Nations is going to be terribly opposed to the idea.

At Wed Dec 14, 01:29:00 AM 2005, Blogger Phanar said...

OK, if we had a genuine security problem going on at the border, I could see something like the proposed fence as a solution. But frankly, I don't think there's a problem worth spending billions to build an ugly boondoggle to solve--I really can't picture my gardener getting together with the guys down at the local carwash to fly a jumbo jet into an office building.

In fact, the territory we are discussing, the border between Mexico and the US, separates land that belongs to Mexico from land that used to belong to Mexico. Many people on both sides of the border are blood relatives, there is a strong historical relationship dating from before Columbus, and there has always been movement back and forth. To pretend that everyone who crosses our Southern border informally is automatically a criminal is a gross oversimplification of the region's lengthy history.

Well, that's all I wanted to say.

At Thu Dec 15, 10:25:00 AM 2005, Blogger katman770 said...

Its really quite simple. You don't want mexicans coming here then quit hiring them. Quit giving them work and quit giving them free medical care and quit allowing them to come here and have babies that become us citizens. Quit all this and some other things, and you will stop this human invasion in its tracks. I bet many of you, on here whining about this need for a border fence have hired mexicans to do things for you, yet you get on here and complain about the mexican problem. You cannot have it both ways. Either you face the fact that you yourselves are to blame for all of this or we are just tilting at windmills. Everytime I see someone hiring a mexican to do something, I think of the times that are coming in this nation. Our own government is destroying the middle class and allowing us to become a third world country. Thank you Mr Bush.

At Fri Jan 06, 11:35:00 AM 2006, Blogger ABRAHAM said...

This fence is just another of the classic bush lies, we don't need that fence, they say that iilegal people don't pay taxes, but if you ask illegal people if they would pay taxes to be here, they'll do it without think it twice.
At the end all that moves our precident to do that is his ambition for oil. Did you know that mexico is a great productor of oil, but the Mexican goverment doesn't want to open the oil to private investment, in the NAFT (trade with mex and canada) mexico didn't want to include oil. that was the reason why the president didn't want to approve the immigration reform.
Nowmthey want to sell us this fence idea as a safety measure, when it is a mesure to presure mexican goverment to open the oil investing, and we are buying it.
It seems that we don't learn from experience. Take a look to the wars that US has made just to get control of the oil over the worl.

At Wed Mar 29, 07:58:00 AM 2006, Blogger Mike said...

Tim lane said it costs the taxpayer $8 Billion. In fact, the drain on the American Citizen is $60 Billion. That is a US Government estimate, not my opinion. As far as the cost of a fence, the DoD can not account for over $1 Trillion, that is enough to build almost a thousand fences. Where is the representation of the leagal, US Citizen?? The Senate supports the illegals, not us.


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