On Wednesday, Dr. Ben Carson said America’s borders must be sealed to protect against terrorism and told a prominent group of Latino elected officials that he also supports giving illegal immigrants a path to legalization and eventual citizenship.
Addressing the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) in Nevada, Carson said that “the reason that I think we need to seal our borders completely… all of our borders–north, south, east, and west–is not so much because I’m afraid of somebody from Honduras.”
“I’m afraid of someone from Syria who wants to bomb us, who wants to do bad things,” he said. “So that’s the main reason that we need to seal all of our borders.”
Carson said that “we do have an illegal immigration problem that would be solved if we sealed the borders and cease the benefits” so that “people wouldn’t see a reason to come here.”
He added that, “as a compassionate nation, we should be asking what can we do to help the people in nations who feel that they don’t have an opportunity.” He cited Cameroon as an example where American companies are helping to develop land to produce produce, which benefits those in Cameroon who need jobs in addition to the American companies. Carson suggested that model be applied to “all the nations in this hemisphere… then everybody can be prosperous.” He said there needs to be a way to “share the wealth and still maintain our borders, our integrity,” and he suggested that the “influx” of illegal immigrants would come to a halt if Latin American nations become more prosperous.
Regarding the country’s illegal immigrants, Carson said, “many of them have never known any other country … so where are you going to send them?”
Carson said the country must “provide them a way so that they don’t have to hide in the shadows” and “give them an opportunity to become guest-workers–they have to register, they have to enroll in a back tax program.”
“And if they want to become citizens they have to get in the line with everyone else… because we have to pay homage to people who’ve done it the right way,” Carson added.
He also told the audience that “what threatens to destroy is division” and blasted the “purveyors of division” who try to divide Americans based on race, age, income and a host of other issues for trying to convince Americans that “we are each other’s enemies.” He said that radical Islamic terrorists are trying to destroy the United States and Americans should not make it easier for them by buying into the politics of division.