Gary Johnson on ImmigrationNICK GILLESPIE: Talk about Trump. Do you think Trump represents anything legitimate in the Republican Party or among the American politics? Cause he is now like number two in some Republican polls.
GARY JOHNSON: He is appealing to a segment that I’ll just label racist, and it exists, and it’s out there. And you know what, I don’t want to have anything to do with it. I don’t want to have anything to do with it. It embarrasses, it embarrasses me, and like I said, the electorate will paint the entire Republican Party with a broad brush as a result of Trump, and it won’t be positive.
GILLESPIE: And because he’s deported the Mexicans, they’ll have to paint their own fence.
JOHNSON: Gee, and he employs tens of thousands of people and he’s in the service industry. How many of those are immigrants? I don’t get why any of them remained around.
GILLESPIE: Talk a little bit about immigration, cause it’s a big topic for (unclear) and it’s a big issue in American politics. What inflames people? And you were the governor of a border state.
JOHNSON: No. What inflames people is the notion that somehow they’re taking, that they’re coming over the border, illegally, and they’re siphoning off or living off our welfare system. Well that’s a fallacy. I mean, it sounds logical, actually there’s a logic to it, but it’s not the reality. These are hardw-, cream of the crop workers that are coming over from Mexico, and you’ve got all of the Republican candidates talking about building a fence to cross the border, that is just wacko. We should make ti as easy as possible for somebody that wants to come across the border to work to get a work visa. Abolish income tax, abolish corporate tax, eliminate the IRS and you know what, we’re gonna need tens of millions of immigrants to fill the jobs that will exist in this country as a result of zero corporate tax.
GILLESPIE: What do you do if you, you know about the illegal immigrant who had been found guilty of various crimes and they committed a murder. Cause this now, right after Trump talking about all these bad Mexicans come across, then you have that. How, why is that not a legitimate rejoinder to an open border (muffled)?
JOHNSON: It is a legitimate ‘resounder’, but statistically, immigrants, both legal and illegal, are much more law observing than U.S. citizens. That’s statistical. Now within that realm, of course you have, uh, those instances, but the overall statistics, much, much less. As Governor of New Mexico, I saw a lot of immigrants that were gonna be deported because they have committed crime. I will tell you, any prior violent crime, I allowed that deportation to take place, including DUI, because I didn’t want to see an immigrant who had been arrested for DUI, and had previous arrest for DUI, at some point killing someone in the future. Outside of that, I didn’t allow any of these deportations to occur.
16 July, 2015: Interview with ReasonTV
GARY JOHNSON: Immigration right now. Immigration starts with, starts with welfare reform in this country. Are Mexicans coming across the border and taking entry level jobs from Americans? Absolutely not. Because you and I as Americans can sit at home and collect a welfare check which is just a little bit less or the same amount of money for doing nothing. So we need to reform welfare. Immigration should be about work, not welfare. Period. And you gotta give that to the states to enforce that.
But immigration is a good thing. We’re country based on immigrants. We’re educating the best and brightest kids now from all across the planet, and we’re sending them back to their countries of origin as opposed to them staying here in this country to start up their businesses and ultimately employ tens of millions of Americans as opposed to tens of millions of Indians which is what is going to happen given our convoluted immigration policy.
Let’s make it as easy as possible for somebody who wants to come in to this country and work to get a work visa. Not citizenship, not a green card, but a work visa entailing a background check and a social security card so that applicable taxes will get paid.
We have eleven million illegal immigrants in this country right now. What’s the main reasons they’re in this country right now is because the government. The government has made it impossible to get a work permit, and so they’ve come across the border illegally. Let’s set up a grace period whereby we can document these workers with a work visa. That’s securing the border.
The notion of building a fence across 2,000 miles of border, the notion of putting the National Guard arm in arms across 2,000 miles of border, in my opinion would be a whole lot of money spent with very little if any benefits whatsoever. And don’t underestimate the drugs. - the drugs on the border as the cause for so much of what is happening - 28,000 deaths south of the border over the last four years. If we can’t connect the dots between prohibition and violence today, I don’t know if we ever will. These deaths are disputes that are being played out with guns rather than courts. If you haven’t looked at the drug issue, I would implore you to look at it, drug issue, and see if you don’t come to the same conclusion that I have. And that is, 90% of the drug problem is prohibition-related, not use-related. And that’s not to discount the problems with use and abuse, but that ought to be the focus.
18 June, 2011: Gary Johnson speaking at the Strong America Now Deficit Free America Summit at the Polk County Convention Complex in Des Moines, Iowa
1 June, 2016: Gary Johnson slams Donald Trump's immigration remarks (3:47 - 5:03)
GARY JOHNSON: Look, I come from New Mexico. Fifty percent of New Mexico population is Hispanic. We're one of four states in the country that is minority-majority, Native American, Hispanic. The things that he is saying relative to the borders are absolutely incendiary and they are wrong. They are just flat wrong. And in the 2012 cycle, it was my voice out there saying, look, building a fence across the border is--really, it's not a good idea. There's no common sense associated with building a fence across the border, and the deportation of 11 million illegal immigrants? This, really, at the basis of that belief is just a misunderstanding of what that really represents. That represents a lot of hard-working people that can't get across the border to legally work, so they cross illegally, something that you would probably do if the situation was reversed, to look after your family.
THRUSH: Well, he described these people as, you know,
JOHNSON: Murderers and rapists.
JOHNSON: When, in fact, statistically, they commit far less crime than U.S. citizens. Why wouldn't they commit far less crime? And they are absolutely the cream of the crop when it comes to workers. Let's make it as easy as possible. Let's look across the border.
THRUSH: I interviewed Jeff Sessions about, who claimed ignorance of his own state's law. Let's look at what happened in Alabama to the farmers, when they cracked down on immigration before it was rolled back by the Justice Department. They saw a mass exodus of their farm workers. They couldn't get anybody to replace them to do those jobs.
JOHNSON: Well, that's exactly the case. They're not taking jobs that U.S. citizens want, and it's not an issue of lower pay, unless it's an issue of language. And they're the first ones that recognize that so they--not unlike immigration throughout the history of this country. We are a nation of immigrants, and if the truth be known, don't we need a whole lot of immigrants to be buying homes, and to drive our economy, and to take jobs that U.S. citizens don't want?
THRUSH: It's so interesting. New Mexico is next door to Arizona, which is the crucible of quite the opposite opinion, with Jan Brewer and Joe Arpaio.
JOHNSON: Well, they made a name for themselves. I'd say they've created a political bogeyman that really doesn't exist. Now, don't get me wrong. There's petty crime that exists around the border--I get it--but it's not heads lying--it's not cut-off heads lying in the desert.
I have a big business interest, hotel interest, in Tempe, Arizona, and after Jan Brewer came out on this issue, business just absolutely dried up.
3 June, 2016: POLITICO's Glenn Thrush interviews Gary Johnson