Rand: Sometimes GOP Leadership Doesn’t ‘Want to Address Facts That Are Out There’ on Immigration

Kentucky Senator and Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul said of GOP leadership “sometimes they just don’t want to address facts that are out there” on illegal immigration on Tuesday’s “Hannity” on the Fox News Channel.

Rand commented on Republican leadership, stating “sometimes they just don’t want to address facts that are out there” on illegal immigration. He added that legislation to end sanctuary cities  “makes so much sense. If someone is wanted for a federal crime, and they’re being held by a local jail, when the local jail releases them, they should be released into federal custody. And this is something that President Obama changed. Because it used to be that this was interpreted as being a mandatory hold on a prisoner. And President Obama through executive order, and through executive interpretation has now said that it’s voluntary. But if you’re wanted for a federal crime, you should be held, and not released to the general public. And it’s a real tragedy that this young woman lost her life because people in San Francisco apparently don’t care about whether or not they’re releasing dangerous criminals into the public.”

Rand later argued, “What we can’t have is a lawless nation. And that’s sort of what we have now is a lawless border. And people have talked a lot about what immigration reform or security measures are necessary. Really, what we need is an enforcer. We haven’t had a Republican or a Democrat in the White House who is willing to enforce immigration laws. Just enforcing the laws on the books would improve things now, but we have sort of a lawlessness when San Francisco thinks they can thumb their nose and not obey the federal law.”

Earlier Rand said, “what we do need to do is we need to tell cities like San Francisco they have to obey the federal law, and immigration is a federal law, and states all the time obey this. If you’re wanted to for shoplifting, you’re held for shoplifting in Ohio, but you’ve committed murder in Michigan, Ohio never releases you and just say[s], ‘Go on your way.’ They release you to Michigan, should be the same in San Francisco. If you’re wanted for a petty crime, but immigration service wants you for another crime, when you’re released, you should go into federal jurisdiction or federal prison.”

The discussion then turned to the Iran deal, Rand stated, “I’ve been very skeptical of the Iranians’ intentions. And I think anything that leaves them with a sufficient nuclear capacity to enrich, is a problem. And I think this agreement does that. I’ve also said over time that I think the sanctions, if there was going to be sanction relief, that it should be delayed until we see sufficient Iranian compliance. And then the third thing about the agreement that bothers me, is that it allows for sales of advanced weapons, like even ballistic missiles to Iran. I think it would be a huge mistake for the world to begin selling advanced weaponry to Iran again. So, I won’t be able to support the agreement. Because I think it doesn’t address any of the things.”

He continued, “I did vote for the Corker bill, though, and I think it’s sometimes mischaracterized. The Corker bill says that the agreement does have to come back and be voted on. The president objected to Corker’s bill, and in the end it was passed, and the president went along with it. But the bill does have to come back and be voted on. And so there will be a chance for all of us to decide whether we agree or disagree.”

Rand then argued, “let’s say that I say it’s a treaty, and I do agree that it’s a treaty. … But the president says it isn’t a treaty. So what we have is a conflict. … If we vote to say it’s a treaty, the president then vetoes it, it would take 2/3 to override it. So, really, where we are with the Corker bill it’s going to take 2/3s to override the president’s veto, which is exactly the same scenario we would have with a treaty. So, I think Corker’s bill is essentially the same as whether we vote on whether it’s a treaty or not. Because we will ultimately have to overcome a presidential veto in either scenario. So, I think they’re equivalent.”

Rand concluded that the Congress ceding power to the executive is “the biggest problem facing our country, is we’ve allowed the presidency to grow so strong and the Congress to grow so small. And that we have given up authority to the president.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett