Chris Christie on Immigration

Chris Christie on Immigration


There is a possible Republican candidate for president, that does not agree with building a fence around the U.S.-Mexican border to keep out illegal immigrants. This candidate also will not gather all the Mexicans who are already here and deport them. This candidate is New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie and this is his take on immigration in the U.S.

A month ago, New Jersey became one of the red states in a lawsuit, that would keep President Obama from allowing illegal immigrants avoid being deported. Christie visited New Hampshire twice, and he was not favored in the polls. His current goal is to find a way to be different than the other Republican presidential candidates.

After being silent for months, and refusing to comment on immigration during a trip to Mexico, Christie broke his silence, giving voters in the state a look at his immigration platform. Christie wanted practical reform that reached beyond the Secure Fence Act of 2006, that was signed by President George W. Bush. The bill authorized the construction of hundreds of miles of fencing. It also includes checkpoints, cameras, and vehicle barriers. The 2008 Republican candidates gave almost unanimous support for the bill.

Christie believed that if the government came down on U.S. employers, who employ illegal immigrants, it would be a better way to keep new illegal immigrants out of the U.S. He said it was up to Obama to work with Congress and find an agreeable immigration solution. Also, Christie added that there needed to be more than just a large fence to keep out illegal immigrants. People with a strong enough desire, can climb fences. Immigrants come to the U.S. to find work, coming down on employers who hire illegal immigrants, will decrease the number of illegal immigrants. If there is no work, there is no reason to come to the U.S.

Christie’s position on immigration has received mixed reviews from activists. April 17, at the First in the Nation Summit for GOP presidential contenders in Nashua, the audience was less than enthusiastic when anyone spoke of any type of a less drastic immigration response. There was a Q & A session during Christie’s speech, and a woman asked, “On immigration, what do you think we need to do about all these illegal immigrants, that we have in this country, taking jobs away from Americans who need the jobs? And also, what would you do about securing our borders?” Christie responded with saying the most important thing was to protect the security and sovereignty of the country. The rest of his answer received a midline response.

Christie does not want to build a wall. He believes it is neither efficient nor effective. It can be done with manpower, in many different ways, use some fences, and some cameras. Another way, would be to have a fair system in the U.S. that works. Then he reiterated his plan to come down hard on employers. He did add that a massive deportation was unrealistic.

Christie’s comments concerning the  lawsuit against Obama, New Jersey is a party to now, he referred to the lawsuit as a ‘message’. This is not to be a line in the sand. He claims he wants Obama to know that it should not be done through executive action and he needs to work with Congress to get it done right.

It is possible that Christie is making a play. Christie’s more moderate position on immigration than his rivals could draw primary votes and voters would believe he is the better choice in a general election. If he goes too far to the right, he will be compared to Romney.

By Jeanette Smith


USA Today


National Review

Photo courtesy of John Pemble – Flickr License