GOP presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) insists a 100-foot wall is not necessarily the answer to border security and he argues adequate legal immigration can help alleviate America’s illegal immigration problem.
Speaking to a Sirius XM town hall meeting hosted by Breitbart News’ Stephen K. Bannon, Paul said that while his libertarian beliefs do not mean he is an open-borders politician, he is not sold on a full end-to-end border wall.
“There are some libertarians who believe in wide open borders,” Paul told the town hall meeting. “I don’t and I’m pretty libertarian — I don’t believe in wide-open borders. But I also am not positive that we need 100-foot wall between here and there.”
According to Paul, border security is a necessity not just for national security but also to prevent “millions of people from coming across the border.”
“Even Milton Friedman, who many said was a libertarian, said that you can’t have open borders and a welfare state and I do believe that,” Paul said. “But if you look at the border there are going to be places that there are walls. There are walls in some of our cities now and they do tend to work — in the desert though, if you had a 1,015 miles of desert, I would probably put five or six helicopter stations and I would have sensors. But everybody who came in illegally would be sent back.”
While in favor of steps to increase border security, Paul argued that legal immigration — tied to the needs of the U.S. — also can play a part in reducing illegal immigration.
“I also would have a work program, have legal immigration, and I would have it sufficient to match what we do need in the country,” he said. “And if you have sufficient legal immigration, you don’t have illegal immigration. And then really there is this balance and less of a need for, you know, razor wire.”
When pressed by host Bannon about GOP frontrunner Donald Trump’s calls to build a border wall, bring back jobs from China, and suspending immigration from Muslim countries, Paul said he did not think any of the mentioned proposals “had to do with limited government or balanced budget.”
So he might do some of those things,” Rand Paul said, indicating that he did “not necessarily” disagree with Trump’s ideas. “But I’m just saying they might be extraordinarily expensive and they may take and extraordinarily government to do.”
Paul added that he proposed putting additional restrictions on immigration from high-risk nations before Trump said he would pause immigration from Muslim countries.
“Two months before Trump said anything about immigration bans on Muslims, I said — let’s don’t ban a religion, but I know of 34 countries that have radical Islamic movements, that we should have more vetting of them coming — not that they’re never going to come — but we should have more screening and vetting of all of these folks who are coming here,” Paul said.
“So you can have a lot of the things he’s saying, but what I don’t hear him saying is that he’s for limited constitutional government,” he added.