- The Washington Times - Friday, November 13, 2015

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said Friday that as president, he would dispatch the head of the Department of Homeland Security to Laredo, Texas until the country’s southern border is secure.

“It’ll be done in less than a year,” said Mr. Huckabee, a 2016 GOP presidential candidate.

Mr. Huckabee said “we will secure the border” is a common refrain from Republicans.

“We always say that, but we never seem to do it,” he said. “Securing the border is not the end of what we do. It’s just a matter not of trying to keep people out but making sure that the people who come in want to come and help us build a great America.”

“Because throughout our entire life as a country, it has been the immigrants who come to this country and help us build a great America,” he said. “It’s not to close people out and say ‘we don’t want anybody else.’ But it’s to make sure that when people do come, they want to come to be a part of making this country even better with their skills, their talents, their abilities, their hopes, their dreams, their aspirations.”

“But you can’t do that if you don’t control the border itself,” he said.

Mr. Huckabee also said the country should not have an immigration policy that “displaces Americans.”

Mr. Huckabee, speaking at a Republican Party of Florida summit in Orlando, pointed out that Disney workers were replaced by foreign workers under the H-1B visa program because the foreign workers were willing to do the job for less money.

“And to add insult to injury, the Disney workers were required to train their foreign replacements before they ultimately were shoved out the door,” he said. “America can treat its people better than that, and immigration should not be about seeing if we can displace American workers. It’s about making it so that everybody who does come here comes to contribute to something greater than himself or herself.”

The comments on immigration from Mr. Huckabee come amid an intense public dispute over the issue among the 2016 GOP presidential field, notably a back-and-forth between Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida over their respective roles in the 2013 effort in the U.S. Senate to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

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