Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who has emerged as the key advocate for secure borders, keeping to the rules and an organized handling of the millions of illegal aliens now inside the United States says there is a clear goal that Americans should have for the newcomers: Make them taxpayers.
“What I’m saying is let’s get them work visas, normalize them, tax them, make them taxpayers,” the senator said in an exclusive interview with WND reporter Taylor Rose.
“They not going home. Even the crowd yelling ‘Amnesty! That person’s for amnesty’ … Are they for sending these people home? Do they want us to put them in concentration camps, on buses and send them back home?
“I don’t think anyone’s proposing that. So they’re here illegally. What I’m trying to do is say let’s make them legal here and give them work visas, and put them in the process.”
Paul addressed illegal aliens, work visas, e-Verify, blue-collar jobs and the need to have a familiarity with the English language in a wide-ranging interview with WND.
Paul, who became embroiled in a controversy recently when AP misrepresented his position, said words are delicate creatures sometimes.
“A lot of people use the word amnesty loosely, the same way they use ‘pathway to citizenship’ loosely and once they use it you’re the enemy of the state if they apply that name to you,” he said.
But he pointed out that by doing nothing, the nation now is granting amnesty to millions, because they are in the U.S. illegally, and no one is doing anything about it.
He said there are 11 million illegals in the United States, “Many of them for a decade, many of them are working, too.”
The senator said there are needs that they fill, such as the agriculture industry where many laborers are needed to harvest crops in a timely fashion.
“Last year we gave out 65,000 agriculture work permits,” he said. “A million people came to pick crops.
“There’s something wrong when a million people are coming in … we want them to pick our crops. The farmers want them to come. But why did a million come and only 65,000 came properly?”
Paul’s comments on amnesty:
He said the normalization of illegals is something that needs to happen somehow and some time.
But he said a critical component of any plan will be to secure the borders – lock them up, shut them down and close them.
“Even if we normalize all of the 11 million … what’s going to stop another 10 years and another 10 million from coming in, unless you set up a system that works and unless you have border security.”
He said all proposals should be contingent upon a border security system be adopted and enforced.
On the issue of work visas, Paul said there absolutely have to be limits.
“You can’t have open borders and be a welfare state,” he warned. The solution is a secure border – and a process where someone on a work visa doesn’t get welfare, or someone with a green card doesn’t get welfare.
Paul said there are glitches, too, in America’s social services. There shouldn’t be 60,000 new people on the roles of the disabled every month, he said. In other words, America’s safety net sometimes is just too generous.
The reasons some Americans won’t work for the $8 per hour for an agricultural field worker, for example, is that they would rather do nothing and collect higher government benefits, he said.
He also said it should be that newcomers have an understanding of the language and Constitution.
And finally, he said the e-Verify system may work for some circumstances, but shouldn’t be controlling in all cases.
He said he didn’t want to get to a place where the U.S. is a police state, like what East German used to be.
Paul has been taking heat over his position on immigration ever since AP incorrectly described him as having supported a path to citizenship for illegal aliens.
What he said was he wanted to expand the worker visa program, secure the border and acknowledge that there already is a system for people to become citizens.
He’s getting some support from several members of the U.S. House.
“We write to offer you our support, encouragement and assistance as we work together to identify the principles that must guide our nation’s thinking on immigration reform,” the letter said.
“You noted Tuesday in your remarks to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce that ‘somewhere along the line, Republicans have failed to understand and articulate that immigrants are an asset to American, not a liability,’ and that the Republican Party must embrace more legal immigration. We wholeheartedly agree – and stand alongside you in your efforts. We believe you put it best when you said, ‘Immigration reform will not occur until conservative Republicans … become part of the solution.”
The letter was signed by Reps. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C.; Justin Amash, R-Mich.; Thomas Massie, R-Ky.; Jeff Duncan, R-S.C.; Trey Radel, R-Fla.; and Mark Meadows, R-N.C.
Obama promised action on amnesty for millions during his first term, but failed to deliver on his promise. Those efforts now have been ratcheted up as Obama is moving into his second term.