Georgia Congressman (GA06) Dr. Tom Price almost speaks up against amnesty in Saturday’s Marietta Daily Journal
Marietta Daily Journal
Saturday, August 29, 2015
Rep. Price talks Iran deal, immigration
ROSWELL — With Congress in its August recess, U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Roswell, sat down for an interview at his district office on Friday to discuss immigration, the Iran deal, federal spending and the Republican presidential primary.
Price, chairman of the House Budget Committee, represents much of northeast Cobb.
Q: It’s been suggested that one of the things that the country could do is to deport anyone who has entered the country illegally, people who have overstayed their visas and so on. As the budget chairman, do you think that is something that’s financially feasible to even look at?
A: Well, my position on immigration has been the same throughout my entire public career, and that is that the nation has lost complete trust in the federal government to fulfill the responsibility of keeping this country safe from an immigration standpoint.
It’s important that everybody know and understand that we are the most generous country on the face of the Earth when it comes to legal immigration. About a million individuals come to our shores legally every single year. No other nation even comes close to that. … However, in 1986, the federal government, through the Congress and the administration at that time, agreed that there was a problem with folks who were here illegally and that the problem needed to be addressed. And the way that they said it ought to be addressed is to provide a path to citizenship for those approximately 3 million folks who were here illegally at that time to end that problem and to control and secure the border and entry into the United States so that we never had this problem again.
What was not fulfilled after that agreement was the controlling and securing of entry into the United States and of the border. So the American people are rightly frustrated and angry about what their federal government has done, which tells me that the way to regain that trust is to do what we said we were going to do in 1986, nearly 30 years ago, and control and secure the border and entry into the United States. And once you do that, which is, I think, relatively easy from a logistics standpoint and I think relatively inexpensive if it’s done in a smart way, once you do that and have the political will behind it to continue that, then I think the conversation about what to do about the rest of the immigration problem becomes much more sober, realistic and compassionate.
Q: I couldn’t help but notice that you didn’t answer the question. Do you think that deporting these reportedly 12 million is the right thing to do?
A: That wasn’t your question. Your question was, “As budget chair, is it affordable?” And I did answer that question, which was I think it’s relatively inexpensive to do that.
Q: Well, to control the border. Not necessarily to do a mass deportation.
A: That wasn’t your question. If that’s your question, I’ll answer that question.
Q: OK, is it financially feasible to deport up to 12 million people?
A: Well, I suspect you could do that from a financial standpoint, but the question is whether that’s the right thing to do. And my response to that is you’ve got to control and secure the border. If, for example, the federal government said, this administration said, “Everybody who’s here illegally must go home now,” and then brought that about, it wouldn’t make any difference until you control and secure the border. You’ve got to control and secure the border first. This is a stepwise process. Unless you control and secure the border, we can do anything we want and it doesn’t make any difference at all because the border is porous. You’ve got to solve this — that’s what frustrates people so much is that Washington gets hung up on things that are actually not the real problem. The real focus and the problem right now, one, is the trust that the American people don’t have in their federal government, and two is that the government hasn’t done what they said they were going to do: controlling entry to the United States. So, once we do that, again, I think the conversation gets much more reasonable and much more sobering.
Q: Would you support a pathway to citizenship of some kind?
A: I think that until the border is controlled and secured, then all those questions are moot because it doesn’t make any difference what you do.
Q: What are your thoughts on the Iran deal?…