Republican presidential candidate Sam Brownback said Monday the U.S. must simplify immigration policy to make it easier for more legal aliens to get into the country while focusing attention on criminals trying to cross the borders.
The Kansas senator said he reached that conclusion because of more than seven years of legal wrangling he spent to get a passport for his 9-year-old son, who was adopted from Guatemala.
“God bless you if you try it legally,” Brownback told about 100 people at a Republican lunch club in the northern part of South Carolina, which is host to the first Southern primaries.
While the government allows 50,000 agricultural workers yearly into the United States, the market demands 10 times the number of low-skill, low-wage workers. As a result, so many immigrants stream across the border for work that the U.S. can’t focus on the criminals, Brownback said.
“We’re a nation of immigrants. We don’t want to discriminate against people,” he said. “We’ve got to make it work.”
Brownback placed fourth last week in a GOP straw poll in Spartanburg County. Greenville County will hold its straw poll next month.