Ben Carson on Immigration

Tea Party challenger in Republican primary


Stop illegal immigration, then have a fair path to residency

After we stop illegal immigration, we need to be reasonable. I would give a six-month period to register as a guest worker. They have to pay a back-tax penalty, have to pay taxes going forward, but they don't have to live underground. They do not become American citizens, they do not vote. If they want to become an American citizen, they go through exactly the same process that anybody else goes through. I think that's fair.
Source: 2016 CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on eve of Texas primary , Feb 25, 2016

Gather group of experts to screen out terrorists

Q [to Donald Trump]: Your comments about banning Muslims from entering the country created a firestorm. Do you want to rethink this position?

TRUMP: No. Look, we have to stop with political correctness. We have to find out what's going on. I said temporarily. I didn't say permanently.

Q [to Carson]: Do you agree?

CARSON: Well, first of all, recognize it is a substantial problem. But like all of our problems, there isn't a single one that can't be solved with common sense if you remove the ego and the politics. And clearly, what we need to do is get a group of experts together, including people from other countries, some of our friends from Israel, who have had experience screening these people and come up with new guidelines for immigration, and for visas, for people who are coming into this country. And as far as the Syrians are concerned, Al-Hasakah province, perfect place. They have infrastructure. All we need to do is protect them, they will be in their own country.

Source: Fox Business 2016 Republican 2-tier debate , Jan 14, 2016

Guest worker program; no citizenship for illegals

Q: You wrote, "Is it moral for us to take advantage of cheap labor from illegal immigrants while denying them citizenship? I believe we have taken the moral low road on that issue." If that's the moral low road, then why not support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants?

CARSON: If they have a pristine record, I support giving them an opportunity to register as guest workers so they're not living subterranean. They have to pay a back tax penalty and they have to pay their taxes going forward, they don't get to vote and they aren't citizens. But my long-term plan would be for us to allow American businesses to go over there, develop the acreage, create jobs and teach those people the agri business, while also making profit. If we do that in Central America and South America and help them to be able to improve their own standard of living there, they won't need to come here.

Source: ABC This Week 2015 interview by Martha Raddatz , Oct 18, 2015

Many immigrants are criminals from Iraq, Somalia and Russia

Q: In a speech to the Values Voters Summit, you said many of the immigrants trying to cross the border into the U.S. are hardened criminals from Iraq, Somalia and Russia. Do you have evidence that many are hardened criminals from those countries?

CARSON: Well, I talked to a number of the sheriffs on the borders and they've told me what kind of people are coming over. So I'm not sure that I would trust, quite frankly, any figures coming from the government, given the fact that they are the ones who are problematic. You know, a lot of these people who are captured, it's ICE who comes along and says, "you must release these people."

Source: ABC This Week 2015 interview by Martha Raddatz , Sep 27, 2015

Our southern border is so porous, anybody can get in

We need to be thinking about sealing our borders because, the fact of the matter is, having gone down there recently and looked at how porous those borders are, anybody could get through there. The fences that they had there would barely slow me down when I was a kid. And there's no border guards there. The border guards are all 70 miles inland. Why are they called border guards if they're not on the border?

And then when they capture people, ICE tells them to release them. And a lot of those people are not from Honduras and Mexico. They're form Iraq and Somalia and Russia. And many of them are hardened criminals. And it seems like our federal government is actually fighting against the sheriffs and the people who are down there. We need an administration that will back our people up and not the people who are trying to invade here from someplace else.

Source: 10th Annual Value Voters Summit - 2015 , Sep 25, 2015

Turn off the spigots, then allow agricultural guest workers

Q: This week, Dr. Carson proposed giving undocumented immigrants a six- month grace period to pay back taxes then to let them become guest workers and only to deport people who failed to do that.

CARSON: Not exactly what I said.

I was just reading the Wall Street Journal quote, but please tell us.

CARSON: After we seal the borders, after we turn off the spigot that dispenses all the goodies so we don't have people coming in here, including employment, that people who had a pristine record, we should consider allowing them to become guest workers, primarily in the agricultural sphere, because that's the place where Americans don't seem to want to work. And they have a six-month period to do that. If they don't do it within that time period, then they become illegal, and as illegals, they will be treated as such.

Q [to Cruz]: Does that fit your definition of amnesty?

CRUZ: I like and respect Ben Carson. I'll let him talk about his own plans.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN , Sep 16, 2015

We have the ability to build a border wall, but not the will

I was in Arizona a few weeks ago at the border. The fences there were not manned. So, I don't see any purpose in having that. Yuma County, Arizona. They stop 97 percent of the illegal immigrants through there. They put in a double fence with a road so that there was quick access by the enforcement people. If we don't seal the border, the rest of this stuff clearly doesn't matter. We have the ability to do it, we don't have the will to do it.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN , Sep 16, 2015

Taking in Middle Eastern refugees could be dangerous

Q: Many European countries have offered asylum to refugees from Syria and other areas in the Middle East. How would you handle the refugee crisis right now?

CARSON: I would recognize that bringing in people from the Middle East right now carries extra danger. And we have to be extra cautious. You know, we need to tighten it up and be very careful, because we cannot put our people at risk because we're trying to be politically correct.

Source: ABC This Week 2015 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Sep 13, 2015

Use drones to destroy smuggler hide-outs on Mexican border

Q: What did you mean when you said that the US should consider drone strikes to secure the border with Mexico?

A: I said that the drones are excellent for surveillance. In no way did I suggest that drones be used to kill people. We have a huge security risk [at the border], and it seems like we have not only the cartels to deal with, the drug smugglers, the people smugglers, but we have the federal government, which is not being helpful. Over the last couple of years, they have released 67,000 people.

Q: But you said that you were considering drone strikes on cartels down there at the border.

A: No, that's a lie. What I said is, it's possible that a drone could be used to destroy the caves that are utilized to hide people.

Q: Who would be hidden in these caves?

A: The scouts. There are caves that they utilize. Those caves can be eliminated. I am not talking about killing people. We have excellent military people and military strategists; we need to get them involved.

Source: CNN SOTU 2015 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Aug 23, 2015

Moral low road to use cheap labor if no path to citizenship

Carson has not directly said if he supports a pathway to citizenship, but in his book America The Beautiful, Carson seemed to imply that a pathway to citizenship is the "moral" thing to do.

"Is it moral for us, for example, to take advantage of cheap labor from illegal immigrants while denying them citizenship? I'm sure you can tell from the way I phrased the question that I believe we have taken the moral low road on this issue," he wrote.

Carson has also said the United States should model its immigration reform after Canada's guest-worker program. "People already here illegally could apply for guest-worker status from outside of the country," Carson wrote in November. "This means they would have to leave first."

Source: National Journal 2016 series: Republicans on immigration , Feb 23, 2015

Pathway to citizenship unfair to past & current immigrants

Carson took a hard line on the path-to-citizenship issue: "The American people should not be manipulated into believing that they are heartless simply because they want to preserve the rule of law in our nation and look after their own before they take in others," he wrote. "We also have to consider the millions of people who have immigrated here legally as well as those who are in the queue. It is incredibly unfair to them to grant amnesty to those who have jumped ahead of them in line illegally."
Source: National Journal 2016 series: Republicans on immigration , Feb 23, 2015

Use Canadian model for guest worker program

Dr. Ben Carson was a success [with the Iowa Freedom Summit crowd]. He told a great life story about how he survived serious hardships, and shared his faith. With respect to immigration he wants to incorporate a guest worker program modeled on the Canadian one. That's a guest worker program for jobs Americans don't want to do, seal the border, and accept applications only from applicants who are outside of our borders.
Source: Salon.com weblog on 2015 Iowa Freedom Summit , Jan 26, 2015

Common-sense solutions: guest workers plus harsher penalties

Rising conservative star Ben Carson seemed to charm attendees at Saturday's Freedom Summit, weaving stories of his upbringing through a series of topics including immigration and health care. Carson, a best-selling author and retired neurosurgeon, spoke in an easy-going style that alternated between sincere and humorous: "I always feel so welcomed when I come to Iowa, because they have so many people here who actually have common sense," Carson said. Laughter followed.

Carson called for common-sense solutions to end government overreach and return America to traditional values. He spoke at relative length on immigration, calling for harsher penalties for those who employ undocumented immigrants and better border security. Carson also called on the U.S. to adopt a version of Canada's guest worker program, requiring those seeking work to apply while they live outside the U.S.

Source: Des Moines Register on 2015 Iowa Freedom Summit , Jan 24, 2015

Overwhelming majority want the southern border secured

The overwhelming majority of Americans want the southern borders of our country secured and our immigration laws enforced, but several administrations recently have been unwilling to get tough on this issue because they do not want to alienate a large voting block of Latinos. This is yet another area where our government's leadership and the wishes of many of the people diverge and the people are being ignored.
Source: America the Beautiful, by Ben Carson, p. 39 , Jan 24, 2012

Deportation is moral low road; create guest worker program

Is it moral for us, for example, to take advantage of cheap labor from illegal immigrants while denying them citizenship? I'm sure you can tell from the way I phrased the question that I believe we have taken the moral low road on this issue. Some segments of our economy would virtually collapse without these undocumented workers--we all know that--yet we continue to harass and deport many individuals who are simply seeking a better life for themselves and their families. Is there a way to apply logic to this issue and arrive at an intelligent solution?

All we have to do is look to our northern neighbor, Canada. They have a guest worker program, which allows people to enter the country as officially recognized guest workers who pay taxes, receive benefits, and are able to come and go as they please without infringing on anyone else's rights.

Source: America the Beautiful, by Ben Carson, p.102 , Jan 24, 2012

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