Presidential Candidate Santorum Discusses Immigration Policy
June 07, 2015, 01:12 PM
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Former Senator Rick Santorum appeared today on the big Fox News Sunday show with Chris Wallace who quizzed him on several issues. Santorum spoke knowledgeably about immigration, particularly when he noted that “supply and demand works” and Hillary Clinton advocates open borders because she “just wants votes.” He could have said, “The Democrats are trying to import a permanent majority of big-government voters using illegal immigration,” but didn’t.

Santorum did say that legal immigration should be decreased, which is a rare bit of sanity to hear on a major cable network. Also a plus: his energetic support of American workers.

The immigration discussion starts at 4:30 in the video following and lasts a little over two minutes:

Santorum was so-so on the kicker question of what to do with the 11 million illegal aliens already residing here, answering that his father had to wait seven years to immigrate legally, so Senator Santorum doesn’t see the need to reward illegal behavior.

He might have observed that many millions of illegals have lived and worked here for years, surviving very comfortably despite their unlawful status. A Pew Hispanic investigation a couple years back found that 63 percent of illegal aliens have lived in the United States 10 years or longer. So they do not require either work permits or full blown citizenship to get along. Instead of rewarding the foreign lawbreakers with amnesty, remove the jobs magnet and let them leave the same way they came — on their own dime.

Santorum could also have mentioned the enormous changes occurring in the workplace from automation and smart machines that are even now reducing the requirement for human workers, but only America’s Senator Jeff Sessions has connected that trend with a severely decreased need for immigrant workers. Oh, well!

Here’s the transcript with the part of the Santorum interview dealing with immigration:

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WALLACE: You are, I think it’s fair to say, and you mention one area where you may disagree with some other Republicans, is you’re a hard-liner on immigration. You say not only that we need tougher enforcement, like a lot of other Republicans, but you say, also, that we need less fewer legal immigrants.

Here’s you talking.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANTORUM: Hillary Clinton and big business, they have called for a massive influx in unskilled labor. Business does it because they want to control costs. Hillary does it — well, she just wants votes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Senator, what would you do — because you don’t answer it there — what would you do with the 11 million people who are in this country already illegally? And don’t you run the risk, as you talk about fewer immigrants and no path to legalization, don’t you run the risk of alienating the Hispanic vote, which is the fastest growing voting bloc in America?

SANTORUM: Here’s what I would say that, I approach this as what’s the best to American workers and particularly American workers, and particularly those workers who are not doing well in America. And if we look at the fact that 35 million people have come into this country over eh last 20 years, almost all of whom, now I’m talking about legal and illegal, we have more people living in this country who are not born in this country than any time in the history of this country.

So, to suggest we need to look at what is the impact on American workers — and, by the way, primarily the folks most impacted by new immigrants coming into this country are the recent immigrants who are already in this country who are here legally, and are minority populations, who have high rates of unemployment and are primarily lower skilled workers, particularly the recent immigrants.

So, this isn’t a question of I’m being a hard-liner on immigration, this is being in hard support of American workers who have seen their wages over the last 20 years flat-lined. Why? Because supply and demand works. As we continue to bring record number of immigrants, never before we had this number of immigrants coming to this country, and we see wages flat-lining, we see median income falling in America, shouldn’t we have a responsibility to look what’s in the best interest of American workers and say, let’s look at this policy and see whether we can adjust it to make those wages stronger going forward?

WALLACE: Thirty seconds — what would you do with the 11 million who are already here?

SANTORUM: You just use E-Verify. You require E-Verify —

WALLACE: And no path to legalization?

SANTORUM: No. I mean, look, I’m the son of an immigrant. I’m a son of an immigrant who have to wait seven years, my dad did, before he could come to this country separated from his father. I always used to ask my dad, did you always harbor some ill feeling toward America that separated you, their immigration laws that separated you? And my dad always said the same thing — America was worth the wait.

America is worth the wait, and workers in American deserve an immigration system that supports them. [. . .]