Carson: Replace Affirmative Action With ‘Compassionate Action,’ Approach Immigration With ‘Eyes Open’

Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson advocated replacing race-based affirmative action with “compassionate action” for the “disadvantaged,” and stated that policy towards illegal immigants in the US must be approached “with our eyes open” on Friday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “On the Record.”

Carson expressed his support for replacing affirmative action with “compassionate action,” saying, [relevant remarks begin around 3:00] “I think if we give somebody, you know, an extra nod, it should be based on their circumstances. So, for instance, let’s say I have a son who’s applying to Yale, and he’s got a 4.0 average, and 1600 SATs, and is the best thing since sliced bread, and then there’s a kid from Appalachia whose father was killed in the coal mines when he 5 years old, he’s been all that time, but still has managed a 3.85 grade point average, and 1500 SATs, I think I would perhaps like to give him a little extra consideration. It shouldn’t have anything to do with race It should have everything to do with consideration. We have always rooted for the underdog. We have always given them an extra leg up, and that’s going to help to strengthen our society if we find ways to give them extra consideration.” And “I don’t think affirmative action is appropriate, but I do think that compassionate action is. And of course, you know, it may vary from time to time who benefits the most from it, obviously, whichever group happens to be most disadvantaged would probably be the ones that would benefit the most.”

Carson also commented on immigration, stating, “I think a lot of people like the idea of just rounding everybody else up who doesn’t belong here and finding some place to send them back to, and it sounds pretty good, but I don’t think it’s very practical. But, we have to look at what’s pragmatic. You know, a lot of these people have been here for a significant period of time, have worked, and supported themselves. And I was talking to a farmer in South Dakota who owns an 8,000-acre farm. He says he could not hire a single American to work on his farm, not one, and tried very hard at $11 an hour. I was talking to an owner of a large hotel chain. They told me the same thing. And we’re not talking about, you know, slave wages, either. So, we have to consider that. We have to consider that if we get rid of all these individuals, and we bring in people, and we pay them whatever it is that they want to have, instead of you paying $1.50 for a tomato, you may be paying $3 or $4 for a tomato. Are you willing to do that? That’s a discussion that we need to have as a nation. If we’re willing to do that, then by all means do it, but let’s make sure we go into it with our eyes open.”

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