Wednesday at a press conference after his remarks at Liberty University, Republican presidential hopeful Dr. Ben Carson was asked about what he would do with the 11 million illegal immigrants already living in the Untied States.
Carson said proposed a six-month registration period to register, then after that the case would be made on the legal status.
A reporter asked, “Can you explain your position on immigration? Are you in favor of encouraging people here to have a way to get — or in favor of supporting people here?”
Carson said, “Very easy question. I’m in favor of enforcing the laws that we have and in favor of securing our borders. All of our borders. This is not a difficult thing to do as was demonstrated in Yuma county Arizona where they stopped 97 percent of illegal immigration by putting up a double fence with asphalt road in between so there was quick access. Actually putting border guards on the border and prosecuting first time offenders rather than the catch and release program that we now have. That stopped. That’s without the addition of some of the unique surveillance equipment that we now have available to us. I think you can get pretty close to a hundred percent. The other thing you have to do is you have to decrease the incentives for people to come here. They say what is the point. That gets rid of the influx but it doesn’t take care of the 11-plus million people that are still here. I propose that we give them a six month period in which to register. If they don’t register, they’re criminals and treated as such. If they register in that six-month period and have a pristine record and they wish to be guest workers in this country they would have to pay a back tax penalty and have to continue to pay taxes going forward. They would no longer have to live in the shadow. That does not give them the right to vote. It does not make them U.S. citizens. If they want to become U.S. citizens, they have to go through the same thing anybody else wants to become a citizen, including leaving the country and apply from the outside unless the American people indicate they want a difference course than that.”
The reporter followed up asking, “What’s the economic harm, in your view, of having these 11 million people here now?”
Carson said, “When you look at farming industries, I’ve talked to farmers with multi-thousands acres farms and they say their business would collapse, I’ve talked to hotel owners and they say that they would have a very difficult time without them. That’sy I say workers willing to work in industries where we need them. That’s a win-win situation. I think the other thing we have to keep in mind, we’re compassionate people. Like in Cameroon right now, there are American companies over there I’ve spoken to some of them who are helping to develop millions of acres, incredibly fertile land growing record crops, getting big profits which is great for them. I like business. You do what works for you. At the same time, they’re building infrastructure of that nation creating jobs there and teaching them the ag business so they can carry on themselves and at the same time creating friends for the United States. There’s really no reason that we can’t do the same kind of thing in other parts of the world, including central and south America. It’s a positive effect.”