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- 08-17-2012, 12:37 AM #1
Debate: Flake, Cardon grapple over illegal immigration
Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 08:33 PM
The four Republican candidates seeking the retiring Sen. Jon Kyl's seat clashed Thursday over illegal immigration in a short-but-at-times-spirited television debate.
In the 30-minute showdown on KAET's "Arizona Horizon" program, Rep. Jeff Flake defended his pivot to a border-security-first posture. Until last year, Flake for years was a champion of comprehensive immigration reform.
"It's a recognition that until we get better border security that we can't move on to the other items of reform that we're going to need at some point, but we've got to get better border security first," Flake said on the Channel 8 public-affairs show. "What we have now is a situation where we have operational control in one section of the border, the Yuma Sector, but we don't have it in the Tucson Sector. So what we need is to do what has worked in the Yuma Sector and move it to the Tucson Sector, and then we can tackle the other issues that we need to."
Once the border is secured, Flake said attention can be turned to those who overstay immigration visas, to coming up with a "mechanism" to deal with the illegal immigrants who already are in the country and to setting up a temporary worker program.
Wil Cardon, a Mesa investor who is considered Flake's chief Republican rival, called Flake a supporter of "amnesty" for illegal immigrants who formerly worked with liberals such as Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill.
"He spent the last decade in Congress promoting amnesty, promoting the Dream Act and the Strive Act, and other things that now President (Barack) Obama is taking to the next step," Cardon said. "We can't keep changing our minds and spend 10 years working on something and then change our minds and flip-flop and have a deathbed repentance because all of a sudden we're running for a different office."
Flake said his legislation didn't offer "amnesty," which he defined as "an unconditional pardon for a breach of law."
"It's what we did in 1986. That was a mistake and we shouldn't repeat it," Flake said.
Cardon responded: "Only in Washington would that make sense. That's comprehensive immigration reform. We all understand that in the real world."
Conservative radio host Clair "Van" Van Steenwyk, another candidate in the primary, said most Americans don't want comprehensive immigration reform.
"They don't believe it's all right for people to come here, whether on a worker visa or a visitor visa and overstay it, or come across any border, whether it's the Canadian border or the Mexican border, whether they are from Asia or Europe when they do this," Van Steenwyk said. "And then be forgiven, to some degree, by paying a little fine, getting the green card, and getting in line for citizenship."
Former Youngtown Mayor Bryan Hackbarth, the fourth GOP Senate hopeful, mentioned that his wife became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2008.
"Border security must be taken of first before we do anything else," Hackbarth said. "Then we'll deal with the illegals. But we also have to do comprehensive reform in our illegal-immigration system, the rules and laws, because it's not fair. It favors one side but not the other."
"Arizona Horizon" host Ted Simons also asked Cardon about the alleged hiring of illegal immigrants by a Subway franchise company in which he has ownership and managerial interests. A 2008 investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement determined that 151 past and present employees at Subway restaurants operated by RCC Partners were not authorized to work in the United States. Boa Sorte, a Cardon family business entity, owns 28 percent of RCC Partners, but since the story broke Cardon has said that his personal share is only 3 percent or 2 percent. In Thursday's debate, he said his share is 2 percent.
Flake aired TV ads that highlighted the Subway investigation.
"It's a direct lie and an attempt to mislead," Cardon said. "It's just like Obama trying to distort the record of an honest businessman in Mitt Romney."
Cardon also has blamed the federal government for the situation at the Subway shops.
"The government, that unfortunately the congressman and others were part of, were the ones not securing the border and now they want to lay the blame on businesses," he said Thursday.
Flake stood by his ads.
"Your problem isn't with me, it's with ICE," Flake told Cardon. "... ICE is the one that said that more than half of your employees did not have the proper documentation."
azcentral.com blogs - AZ/DC Blog - azdc - Debate: Flake, Cardon grapple over illegal immigrationWe have immigration laws that just need to be enforced.
- 08-17-2012, 12:39 AM #2
ALIPAC has endorsed Wil Cardon:
ENDORSED: Wil Cardon, Republican, Senate, Open Seat, Arizona, U.S. SenateWe have immigration laws that just need to be enforced.
- 08-17-2012, 12:56 AM #3
- Join Date
- Nov 2004
- Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
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Flake is a snake and the fact he is running ads bashing an opponent for not being strong enough on immigration enforcement tells us all that Jeff Flake will go to any length of deception for continued power and money.
WClick here to learn more about William Gheen President of ALIPAC
- 08-17-2012, 07:31 AM #4"Too bad ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation." Henry Kissinger