President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty for illegal aliens via the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and other executive orders is a “magnet” for illegal immigration, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) told Breitbart News on Tuesday.
“All of that is a magnet and a beacon for people to come,” Paul said when asked about Obama’s executive immigration orders during a brief interview outside the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) headquarters. “You can’t have any kind of beacon without securing the border first. It really illustrates what conservatives have been saying all along, myself included: You can’t vote for immigration reform, you can’t have immigration reform without first securing the border.”
Paul added that the “whole idea that the president unilaterally offered these areas of forgiveness for the kids–this DREAM kind of forgiveness–the problem is if you do that with an open border, then the whole world will come.” Paul called for the border to be secured, and said that no immigration legislation should be considered unless the border is secured.
“So I think if we’re going to do immigration reform, what we really need is to have the border secure first,” he said. “What it really illustrates for me is that you can’t fix things by offering forgiveness without securing the border first. It’s a big problem. I think we should humanely clothe, feed and give water and sustenance then send them back home to unify them with their families.”
Paul endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’s bill that would block Obama from implementing any more executive amnesty by halting funding for production of any documents needed for him to do so, too. “I think he wants to do exactly what I was saying, basically,” Paul said when asked about Cruz’s bill. “You can’t have the beacon first and he wants to overturn the president’s executive action–and I would support that.”
Paul also warned against forthcoming executive amnesties from President Obama. “I’m really opposed to the president doing things by unilateral executive order anyway–you shouldn’t be allowed to pass immigration reform without Congress doing it,” Paul said, before noting about the reports that the president is considering widespread executive amnesty for millions of illegal aliens that there is “an urban myth that has spread somewhat through Central America–if you get here by August 15, there are actually fliers saying that if you get here by August 15 the president won’t send you home.”
“I think that urban myth is based on maybe a kernel of truth,” Paul added. “There are rumors that he’s going to do a new executive action. I think we need to let him know that he doesn’t get to do that without congressional authority.”
Paul, according to the Huffington Post’s consolidated polling data of 53 polls from 14 pollsters, leads to the pack of potential 2016 GOP candidates. Paul also topped the field, or tied for first place, in five out of six of the most recent polls in that data set dating back to late April this year.
The border crisis is emerging as a major issue in the GOP, and most other potential 2016 GOP presidential hopefuls have come out swinging on the matter. Cruz, of course, has introduced his bill and made various media appearances about it. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has called up 1,000 National Guard troops to help the state of Texas secure the border on its own, an announcement he made at a Monday press conference.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), a potential 2016 candidate and member of the “Gang of Eight” who eventually turned on the group to help kill the bill by calling for the House to reject any conference committee with it, has blamed Obama’s DACA policies for the crisis. House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)–the 2012 vice presidential nominee and potential 2016 candidate–however, has called for the passage of a supplemental appropriations bill to send more money to the various agencies charged with securing the border. Ryan also called for a change to the 2008 human trafficking law.
“The ultimate goal ought to be to secure the border, get the resources at the border that you need (and that’s where I think there’s a case for a supplemental; they’re burning through funds),” Ryan said at a recent speech at Hillsdale College, according to the National Review. “But you’ve got to change the human trafficking law so that we’re not resettling people within the interior of the country, because all that does is create the incentive for more to come.”
Even former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has leveled heavy criticism at the president over the matter. “While tens of thousands of illegal immigrants storm across the border, the President is jetting off to Texas – but not to see first-hand the mess his policies have created, but to attend high-dollar dinners with the ‘swells’ and extract as much money as he can from some people who got rich on the very oil he despises,” Huckabee said in a statement, according to a recent CNN story.
Paul’s interview with Breitbart News came outside the NRSC on Tuesday right after the Senate policy lunch for the Senate GOP conference. Normally, the weekly lunch is held inside the U.S. Capitol building but sources tell Breitbart News it was moved over to the NRSC headquarters this week for a political strategy session with the midterm elections–and a chance for the GOP to take the Senate in November–a few short months away.
Other senators heading into Tuesday’s lunch at the NRSC offered various other thoughts on the border crisis, with some calling for the U.S. government to send a message to the countries from which these illegal aliens are coming and others offering various legislative ideas.
On the border crisis as a whole, Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) said that the U.S. government needs to “send a strong message to countries in Central America and Mexico.”
“We have laws and they will be enforced,” Portman said.
Portman wasn’t sure which legislative solution, if any, he would back in this matter but about Cruz’s bill specifically he said he’s “not familiar with it yet” but will “take a look at it.”
“The administration is sending completely the wrong signal and it’s only going to encourage more people to cross,” Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) told Breitbart News when asked about his thoughts on the border crisis.
As he walking inside the NRSC before the lunch, Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) called for changes to the 2008 anti-trafficking law.
“There’s only one thing I’ve got my mind absolutely made up on and that’s that the 2008 law has to be changed so that we can return the people,” Grassley said.
During the lunch, while this reporter waited outside, an unidentified NRSC staffer came out of the building and jokingly referred to this reporter as a “tracker”–a term given to people who work for various political organizations and campaigns and are paid to capture video of their employers’ opponents that can be used against them.
“We know who you are,” the NRSC staffer joked when this reporter showed her a press badge and identified himself as a reporter for Breitbart News, not a “tracker” for any political organization.
In contrast, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) offered the sentiment: “Go Breitbart!”