Speaking to the Northern Virginia Technology Council, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie outlined his understanding of illegal immigration.
One member of the audience asked Christie about immigration reform, claiming it is “a real friend” to the technology industry.
Christie did not provide a detailed policy agenda for immigration reform, but instead outlined two principles he believed were important to start any conversation.
First, he explained, the illegal immigrants currently in the United States would not “self deport” and that there weren’t enough law officials to deport them all.
“I can tell you that there are not enough law enforcement officers at the local, county, state, and federal level to be able to forcibly deport people who are here in an undocumented status,” he said, pointing to his record as a former U.S. Attorney in New Jersey.
Christie explained that he didn’t believe in a wall or a fence across the entire southern border, calling it “too expensive” and “inefficient.”
“I tell you I’ve never found a wall or fence that people if their filled with the human will, can’t find a way under, over or around,” he said.
Christie also pointed to employers who hired illegal workers, insisting that they should be held accountable for their actions.
“Quite frankly, employers are a huge part of this problem,” he said, calling for a stronger E-verify system.
“If folks know when they come here that they’re not going to get a job, if they come here illegally, the incentive to come is going to be significantly less.”
He admitted that the only way Americans would trust political leaders again on immigration was if they started enforcing the laws for both businesses and workers.
“If we set up a system that people are then going to be willing to buy into, they need to know that this is going to stop, and we’re not going to be back here again 25 years later and having the same conversation,” he said.