After returning from our annual, week-long CIS trip to a portion of the U.S.-Mexico border, I watched an interesting discussion on border security between Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Univision anchor Jorge Ramos. Their interview originally aired on the February 10 "Al Punto" program. Here is an excerpt. It begins as McCain tells Ramos that he has long insisted that the border be secured before the U.S. changes its immigration law:
McCain: Unfortunately, that's not the case. The majority of the drugs coming into the United States come across the Arizona-Sonora border. Our citizens in the southern part of our state do not have the same security that you do.
Ramos: But Senator McCain isn't the border safer than ever before? You know the numbers. We have more agents than ever before. The number of apprehensions has gone down. The number of undocumented immigrants has gone down ... . The cities along the border with Mexico are among the safest. So I really don't get it. Don't we have the safest border situation ever?
McCain: You're right. You don't get it. You don't get it at all. Actually, apprehensions are back up this year. Drug traffickers are still able to cross our border, guided by people in Arizona to Phoenix. The price of an ounce of heroin or cocaine is not any higher than it was a few years ago, which is the ultimate test. There have been improvements and there need to be continued improvements in order that my citizens in the southern part of my state can live in a secure environment. So I agree. You don't get it.
Ramos: Well, let me give you some information ... . Border apprehensions in Arizona are the lowest in 19 years.
McCain: I said there have been improvements. There are still thousands and thousands — some of them not from our hemisphere — who continue to cross our border.