Ben Carson on Immigration
Tea Party challenger in Republican primary
TRUMP: No. Look, we have to stop with political correctness. We have to find out what's going on. I said temporarily. I didn't say permanently.
Q [to Carson]: Do you agree?
CARSON: Well, first of all, recognize it is a substantial problem. But like all of our problems, there isn't a single one that can't be solved with common sense if you remove the ego and the politics. And clearly, what we need to do is get a group of experts together, including people from other countries, some of our friends from Israel, who have had experience screening these people and come up with new guidelines for immigration, and for visas, for people who are coming into this country. And as far as the Syrians are concerned, Al-Hasakah province, perfect place. They have infrastructure. All we need to do is protect them, they will be in their own country.
CARSON: If they have a pristine record, I support giving them an opportunity to register as guest workers so they're not living subterranean. They have to pay a back tax penalty and they have to pay their taxes going forward, they don't get to vote and they aren't citizens. But my long-term plan would be for us to allow American businesses to go over there, develop the acreage, create jobs and teach those people the agri business, while also making profit. If we do that in Central America and South America and help them to be able to improve their own standard of living there, they won't need to come here.
CARSON: Well, I talked to a number of the sheriffs on the borders and they've told me what kind of people are coming over. So I'm not sure that I would trust, quite frankly, any figures coming from the government, given the fact that they are the ones who are problematic. You know, a lot of these people who are captured, it's ICE who comes along and says, "you must release these people."
And then when they capture people, ICE tells them to release them. And a lot of those people are not from Honduras and Mexico. They're form Iraq and Somalia and Russia. And many of them are hardened criminals. And it seems like our federal government is actually fighting against the sheriffs and the people who are down there. We need an administration that will back our people up and not the people who are trying to invade here from someplace else.
CARSON: Not exactly what I said.
I was just reading the Wall Street Journal quote, but please tell us.
CARSON: After we seal the borders, after we turn off the spigot that dispenses all the goodies so we don't have people coming in here, including employment, that people who had a pristine record, we should consider allowing them to become guest workers, primarily in the agricultural sphere, because that's the place where Americans don't seem to want to work. And they have a six-month period to do that. If they don't do it within that time period, then they become illegal, and as illegals, they will be treated as such.
Q [to Cruz]: Does that fit your definition of amnesty?
CRUZ: I like and respect Ben Carson. I'll let him talk about his own plans.
CARSON: I would recognize that bringing in people from the Middle East right now carries extra danger. And we have to be extra cautious. You know, we need to tighten it up and be very careful, because we cannot put our people at risk because we're trying to be politically correct.
A: I said that the drones are excellent for surveillance. In no way did I suggest that drones be used to kill people. We have a huge security risk [at the border], and it seems like we have not only the cartels to deal with, the drug smugglers, the people smugglers, but we have the federal government, which is not being helpful. Over the last couple of years, they have released 67,000 people.
Q: But you said that you were considering drone strikes on cartels down there at the border.
A: No, that's a lie. What I said is, it's possible that a drone could be used to destroy the caves that are utilized to hide people.
Q: Who would be hidden in these caves?
A: The scouts. There are caves that they utilize. Those caves can be eliminated. I am not talking about killing people. We have excellent military people and military strategists; we need to get them involved.
"Is it moral for us, for example, to take advantage of cheap labor from illegal immigrants while denying them citizenship? I'm sure you can tell from the way I phrased the question that I believe we have taken the moral low road on this issue," he wrote.
Carson has also said the United States should model its immigration reform after Canada's guest-worker program. "People already here illegally could apply for guest-worker status from outside of the country," Carson wrote in November. "This means they would have to leave first."
Carson called for common-sense solutions to end government overreach and return America to traditional values. He spoke at relative length on immigration, calling for harsher penalties for those who employ undocumented immigrants and better border security. Carson also called on the U.S. to adopt a version of Canada's guest worker program, requiring those seeking work to apply while they live outside the U.S.
All we have to do is look to our northern neighbor, Canada. They have a guest worker program, which allows people to enter the country as officially recognized guest workers who pay taxes, receive benefits, and are able to come and go as they please without infringing on anyone else's rights.
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