Rand Paul on Immigration
PAUL: Well, that's not the main part of my plan. The main part of my plan is trust but verify, that says we have to have border security. The amendment that I will add to the bipartisan plan will ensure that there is border security and that Congress gets to vote on that border security every year, in order for it to go forward. With regard to E-verify, it's not that I'm opposed to some sort of database check. For example, when you come into the country, I think the country should do a background check on you to find out if you are a felon or if there's a problem. So I'm not against any kind of checking, I just would prefer the government to be the policeman and not the businessman.
Paul's path to citizenship would come with conditions that could make it long and difficult for illegal immigrants. Chief among these, Congress would have to agree first that progress was being made on border security.
Paul's speech is peppered with Spanish phrases from his youth in Texas, references to his immigrant grandparents and praise for Latino culture. He says his party must adopt a new face toward Hispanics and says conservatives must be part of it. "Immigration reform will not occur until conservative Republicans, like myself, become part of the solution. I am here today to begin that conversation," Paul says. "Let's start that conversation by acknowledging we aren't going to deport" the millions already here, he says.
Paul would not attempt to crack down on employers by expanding working verification systems, something he says is tantamount to "forcing businesses to become policemen."
"My plan will not grant amnesty or move anyone to the front of the line," Paul says. "But what we have now is de facto amnesty."
PAUL: We had 45 million people nationwide that were not receiving or didn't have health insurance. A third of them were in the country illegally and were illegal aliens. And I don't think we should be giving illegal aliens health insurance.
Q: No, that's not true. Illegal aliens are not covered by "Obamacare."
PAUL: I know, but it's illegal to ask them if they're illegal, so it's sort of a Catch-22. The Republicans kept introducing an amendment to Obamacare to say, "You can ask if they're illegal aliens," and the Democrats kept shooting it down, saying, "No, you can't ask whether they're here legally or illegally."
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