Charlie Crist on Immigration
"It's certainly worth a very good debate and research," Crist said. "If there are people here that aren't paying into the system, which everyone agrees there are, that's in essence a form of fraud on the system." Crist said he doesn't support amnesty, but rather an "earned path to citizenship." Illegal immigrants would have to apply for citizenship and be placed in line behind people already seeking it.
CRIST: I don't think so. We probably agree on this issue. The first thing we need to realize about immigration reform is to make sure that we seal the border. Everything else is an academic conversation unless and until we do that. Second, we need to make sure that we're enforcing the law. Laws on the books don't mean anything if they're not being enforced. And third, those who are already her shouldn't be advantaged by the fact that they got here illegally. They should go to the back of the line, go through the regular process, what the law requires, in order to attain their citizenship.
Q: The immigration reform plan of 2007--you still think those are pretty good ideas?
CRIST: I don't think they're bad ideas. I think that those three principles, though, need to be underscored--protecting the border; enforcing the law that's on the books; and no advantages.
GRAHAM: We should have very strong laws against illegal immigration. In terms of legal immigration, our state has benefited greatly. We should continue that tradition of America which recognizes our openness to th refugee-fleeing persecution.
CRIST: I agree with the senator in a lot of that response. I think that it's important that we make sure that we close the door of illegal immigration so that we can keep open the door and the promise of legal immigration. I understand how new blood and new energy and new ideas have made America a better place to live for all of us. And I think it's important that we continue to provide the opportunity for that infusion of new ideas and new blood and a better tomorrow. But we have to make sure that we protect our borders, and we have to make sure that we stop illegal immigration, because we can't afford it.
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