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Jindal: Secure the Border First, Then I’ll Have Conversation About People in the US

Louisiana Governor and Republican presidential candidate Bobby Jindal stated that the US should secure the border first, and “not even have that conversation” about illegal immigrants in the US “until we secure the border” on Thursday’s broadcast of CNN’s “New Day.”

Jindal stated, “What we need from the federal government, is to secure the border. We don’t need a thousand-page bill. We don’t need amnesty. We don’t need a comprehensive approach. We don’t need the Gang of Eight approach. We don’t need the Jeb Bush approach. He came out for amnesty again, earlier this week. Secure the border.”

He continued, “you know that it’s secure when the border governors tell you it’s secure. Secondly, I’ve been to the border myself. I was down there in Texas last year, saw people. They weren’t sneaking across the border. They were coming across the border. Yes, we need to build a wall, and yes, we need more boots on the ground, and yes you need technology and sensors, and yes, you need heat flare technology in the helicopters. One of the interesting things, when Texas, when they surged their resources to a particular part of the border, what they found is that people stopped coming in that area. Now, they’d go somewhere else, but it shows that you can deter, you can stop people from coming across that border illegally. Secure the border. What happened in the ’80s was, the American people were told we need to do everything at once. We need to do border security and amnesty, and instead, they got amnesty, they didn’t get border security.”

Jindal added, in response to a question on what he would do with people already in the US, “I think the American people would be pragmatic and compassionate about the people that are here, but I don’t think they want that as part of the discussion with securing the border. We need to secure the border first.”

When asked if he would support a path to legal status for illegal immigrants in the US, Jindal said, “I’m saying, let’s not even have that conversation until we secure the border.”

He added, “I think you need a higher wall, secure the border, and a broader gate. I do think we need to make it easier for people who want to come legally, that want to learn English, adopt our values, that want to roll up their sleeves and go to work. I think that kind of immigration can make our country stronger. Not enough people are talking about integration, assimilation, I’ve also said we’ve got to get away from the hyphenated Americans. We have proudly been the melting pot, and that has made our country great.”

When questioned over whether “pragmatic and compassionate” meant he supported a path to citizenship, he stated, “Look, the reason the American people are so skeptical, we’ve heard this before. Whenever folks before said we need to talk about it all together, we have gotten amnesty without securing the border. Let’s secure the border, then we will deal with the folks that are here already, but first, let’s secure the border.”

Jindal concluded that the timing is important, and “we are a compassionate, pragmatic country. But the problem is, we’ve been down this path before. We’ve been told, ‘Look, you can’t talk about securing the border until you do these other things.’ There’s no reason — and, if we don’t secure the border it’s 11-12 million today. Who knows how many it will be tomorrow? We’ve got to secure the border.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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