In an interview with Fox News host Megyn Kelly, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie criticized former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for pandering to illegal immigrants, calling her promise to grant them a path to citizenship extreme.
“I think that’s an extreme way to go and I think that quite frankly what Hillary Clinton is doing right now is pandering,” Christie said.
Christie called for an “intelligent conversation” on the problem of illegal immigration, criticizing President Obama for failing to find common ground on the issue.
“You don’t build consensus through executive order,” he said, referring to Obama’s executive order on DACA and DAPA.
If elected president, Christie vowed to reverse Obama’s executive orders “right away,” calling his actions “illegal.”
Kelly called out Christie for supporting a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants in 2010.
“The president and the Congress have to step up to the plate, they have to secure our borders and they have to put forward a commonsense path to citizenship for people,” Christie told reporter Jake Tapper in 2010. “And until they do that, states are going to struggle all over the country with this problem and so is federal law enforcement that doesn’t have the resources to do it effectively.”
Christie said that as a governor, he studied the issue and learned a lot about the ramifications of some of the proposed solutions for illegal immigration.
“I think that just immediately going to a path to citizenship, as Hillary Clinton is proposing to do, is just pandering, politics, it is not based upon an educated study of the issue,” he said.
Christie also defended his position to allow state tuition benefits for children of illegal immigrants, arguing that it wasn’t a “magnet” drawing more illegals into the state.
“People are not coming to New Jersey to get little money off of their tuition,” he said.