Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has his priority list ready to go as he runs for president, and border security and immigration reform are definitely on it.
“I think something has to be done. If you aren’t for doing any kind of immigration reform, you’re for another 10 (million) or 11 million people coming in unaccounted for,” the Republican said Thursday on KTAR, a Phoenix, Ariz., radio station.
Paul then paraphrased American economist Milton Friedman: “You can’t have open borders and a welfare state. We’ve kind of got both of right now — we have a completely open border and we’ve got this enormous welfare state.”
He added: “So you’ve got to stop one of them, and so right now what we really need to do is secure the border. We need to know who comes in, who leaves, we need to make sure none of them are terrorists and then we have to control the border, that’s part of it.”
Paul, who was born in Pennsylvania but grew up in Texas, said he is in favor of a work-visa program.
“I’m in favor of people coming across to work. … I had a farmer recently tell me … he has advertised for 30 years and never had one American apply for a job. So we do need migrant labor. There has to be some kind of compromise to come about on this,” he said.
Paul is scheduled to have a campaign rally at Arizona State in Tempe, Ariz., Friday.
Paul, who launched his presidential campaign roughly four weeks ago, currently polls fourth in a RealClearPolitics average of polls. With 10 points, he is within striking distance of the leader, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who has 15.5 points.