Republican Giuliani says he could end illegal immigration in as few as 3 years
DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Rudy Giuliani said Wednesday that if elected president he would end illegal immigration in as few as three years by employing the same police tactics he used to reduce the crime rate as New York mayor.
“It can be done. It is not impossible,” Giuliani told his audience at a town hall-style meeting. “You can do this, you can stop them at the border.”
Giuliani said he would boost the number of border security agents to 18,000 from the current 12,000, and build a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border with technological monitoring to reduce illegal immigration.
He also would deploy federal agents along the border at 50-mile intervals, using high-tech monitors to detect people trying to enter the country illegally.
Giuliani said expanding the force is the same strategy he employed as mayor to lower New York’s crime rate.
Adding border agents could have similar results on immigration, he said.
“If you do this for two or three years, you’ll change behavior,” Giuliani said. “If people come to the border and figure they can’t get in, they’ll stop.”
Giuliani was pushing on an issue that deeply divides the nation and where there are significant differences between the Republican candidates.
Rival Sen. John McCain supported a failed immigration bill that would have provided a pathway to citizenship for the roughly 12 million illegal immigrants in the country. That stance cost him backing of party conservatives who view that as granting amnesty.
On Tuesday, rival Fred Thompson proposed stripping some federal grant money from cities and states that do not report illegal immigrants to federal authorities. Thompson also called for stronger border security.
Giuliani said the nation needs first to stop illegal immigration before it can turn its attention to the legal immigration it needs to fill certain jobs.
He also would institute a tamper-proof ID system to make sure that legal immigrants are working, “which means they would be paying taxes and Social Security.”
Published in The Messenger 10.25.07