September 8, 2011
El Paso, Texas -- The republican front runners all had a battle plan for immigration reform, which became a topic in the GOP debate at the Ronald Regan Presidential Library in California on Wednesday evening.
Governor Rick Perry called for more border agents and attacked President Obama for not doing enough with immigration reform.
"For the President of the United States to go to El Paso Texas and say the border is safer than its ever been, either he has some of the poorest intel in the history of this country or he was an abject liar to the American people," said Governor Perry. "It is not safe on that border."
Mitt Romney talked about continuing the fence along the entire U.S. Mexican border, adding more border agents, and "stopping the magnet."
"I learned this while I was with Border Patrol agents in San Diego," said Romney. "'They said, 'Look, they could always get a ladder to go over the fence and people will always run to the country. The reason they come in such great numbers is because we've left the magnet on.' And I asked them, 'What do you mean the magnet?' And they said, 'When employers are willing to hire people who are here illegally -- that's a magnet because it draws them in.'"
Michelle Bachman called for more fencing and worried about the U.S. surrendering freedoms if the problem goes undetected for too long.
"In Mexico right now we are dealing with narco-terrorists," said Bachman. "This is a very serious problem. To not build a border or a fence on every part of that border would be an effect to yield United States sovereignty. Not only to our nation anymore but to yield it to another nation. That we cannot do."
Hermain Cain, a former CEO of Godfather's Pizza who has also joined the GOP race, also agrees with Bachman, Romney, and Perry that securing the border should come first.
Newt Gingrich avoided the border issue and jumped to the rights of illegal immigrants instead, citing the need for a legal guest-worker program.
Jon Huntsman referenced his Chinese and Indian daughters who are immigrants to the country and said he sees the issue through their eyes.
Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum pointed out his father is an Italian immigrant and suggested that immigrants have contributed to the building of America.
Ron Paul suggested the government start looking at ways to use border fences to keep people in, instead of keeping people out.