A congressman who introduced legislation earlier this year to nix birthright citizenship praised Donald Trump’s immigration strategy as a “very, very positive document.”
“It’s bold, it’s strong, it’s broad. It covers most of the things you want to cover,” Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) told CNN today.
King said his birthright citizenship legislation, should it pass, “will be litigated, there isn’t any doubt about it.” The bill has 27 co-sponsors and is sitting in committee.
“I think it is constitutionally sound to pass legislation and end birthright citizenship. There aren’t many countries in the world that have that policy,” he added.
The congressman said he was “curious, for some time” about how Trump would get Mexico to pay for the wall. “As you know, I’ve advocated for a long time for a fence or a wall, or fence on the southern border. I’m optimistic about this.”
Trump’s plan states: “Mexico must pay for the wall and, until they do, the United States will, among other things: impound all remittance payments derived from illegal wages; increase fees on all temporary visas issued to Mexican CEOs and diplomats (and if necessary cancel them); increase fees on all border crossing cards – of which we issue about 1 million to Mexican nationals each year (a major source of visa overstays); increase fees on all NAFTA worker visas from Mexico (another major source of overstays); and increase fees at ports of entry to the United States from Mexico [Tariffs and foreign aid cuts are also options]. We will not be taken advantage of anymore.”
King said the “tactics” employed in Trump’s plan “are legitimate and he’ll use more leverage in that.”
“There will be subtle leverage. There’ll be State Department leverage. I think he can get to the place, but whether they do or don’t pay for the wall, as he says in his document, the cost of that wall pales in comparison to the cost of not building it,” he said.
The congressman also suggested the plan include one of his ideas, legislation offered a while ago: “If you’re an employer and you use E-Verify you get safe harbor for those you hire. But you cannot let the wages and benefits be paid to illegals under this legislation. So, the IRS would go through under a normal audit of business and they would run the Social Security numbers of the employees through. If E- Verify kicks them out and said sorry they can’t work in the United States, then the employer would lose his business deduction.”
“So your $10 hour illegal after there’s interest, penalty, taxes charges on that would be $16 an hour illegal, and we would end there’s a six-year statue limitations on it. So, we would clean up this work force and we do so with the IRS. And we require the IRS to cooperate with the Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security.”
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told CNN this morning that Trump’s border wall policy is “something that’s discussed, but I don’t think that’s the first thing we should be worried about.”
“We talked about four different ways you have to secure the border. Walling and fencing in certain places, not the entire border. Doesn’t make any sense,” Christie said. “…I’ve met President Pena Nieto a number of times. I don’t think if we present him with a bill, he’s going to pay for it. And this is not negotiation of a real estate deal, OK. This is international diplomacy and it’s different. And it’s different.”
Christie said walls should be built in populated areas, along with “FBI, DEA, and ATF agents embedded with Border Patrol folks to deal with the criminal element.”
“They’re much more trained to be able to deal with gun running and drug running than our typical border agents are. Third, we need to use drones and other electronic surveillance in more difficult parts of the border to show where we need to deploy human resources more effectively. And then fourth and importantly, we need to use e-verify,” he said.
“And the fact is these folks are coming over here to work. They’re not coming to vote; they are coming to work. And if fact they know they can’t get jobs, then they’re not going to come. And so that’s the most important element of all four. All four are important, but that’s the most important element.”
Trump’s plan advocates nationwide e-verify: “This simple measure will protect jobs for unemployed Americans.”