One big issue discussed in the GOP debate on 10/18/2011 in Las Vegas, NV was how the candidates would deal with illegal immigration. CNN's Anderson Cooper opened the first question of this series to Herman Cain by simply asking if Cain would attempt to build a border fence across the entire border between the US and Mexico?
"Yes, I believe we should secure the border for real, and it would be a combination of a fence, technology, as well as possibly boots on the ground for some of the more dangerous areas. I don’t apologize at all for wanting to protect the American citizens and to protect our agents on the border, no. Secondly, the second thing that I would do — see, I believe in let’s solve the whole problem. We must shut the back door so people can come in the front door. Secondly, promote the existing path to citizenship by cleaning up the bureaucracy in Washington, D.C.Thirdly, enforce the laws — the immigration laws that are already on the books. And here’s another one of these bold ideas by the non-politician up here. Empower the states to do what the federal government is not doing in terms of enforcing those laws."
After Cain's response, Cooper asks Governor Perry whether it was "possible to build a fence...across the entire border" of Texas? Perry replied that you could build a fence, "but it takes anywhere between 10 and 15 years and $30 billion. There’s a better way, and that’s to build a virtual defense zone...along that border, which...you can do it with strategic fencing in the obvious places where it matters. But the way you really stop the activities along that border that are illegal...is to put boots on the ground...You use Predator drones to use that real-time information to give those boots on the ground that information, and they can instantly move to those areas. And that is the way to shut that border down, to secure that border, and really make America safe."
Next, Cooper asks Congresswoman Bachmann agreed with Governor Perry? Bachmann replied saying "last Saturday, I was the very first candidate that signed a pledge that said...I will build a double-walled fence...with an area of security neutrality in between...on the entire border, and I’ll tell you why. Every year, it costs this country $113 billion in the costs that we put out to pay for illegal aliens. It costs the state and local government of that amount $82 billion. For every household of an American citizen, it costs us $1,000 a year...I will build the fence. I will enforce English as the official language of the United States government. And every — every person who comes into this country will have to agree that they will not receive taxpayer-subsidized benefits of any American citizen...I think there’s a very real issue with magnets in this country. And I think the issue...is the issue of anchor babies. And that’s an issue that...the state is very concerned, because when someone comes illegally across the border, specifically for the purpose of utilizing American resources for having a baby here, then all of the welfare benefits then attach to that baby."
Former Governor Romney just sort of jumps in with his opinion saying "in terms of how to secure the border, it’s really not that hard. You have a fence, you have enough Border Patrol agents to oversee the fence, and you turn off the magnets. And that’s employers that hire people who they know are here illegally. That’s why you have an E-Verify system so they can know that. And, number two, you turn off the magnets like tuition breaks or other breaks that draw people into this country illegally. It is not that hard. We have to have the political will to get the job done."
Congressman Paul says "when we approach this immigration problem, we should look at the incentives and that — or the mandates from the federal government saying that you must educate, you must give them free education. You have to remove these incentives. But I don’t think the...
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