Chris Christie on Immigration



Ban radical Islamic jihadists, not all Muslims

Q: How do you respond to Donald Trump's plan to ban Muslim immigration?

CHRSTIE: After spending seven years as a former federal prosecutor, right after 9/11, dealing with this issue-- Here's the way you need to deal with it. You can't just ban all Muslims. You have to ban radical Islamic jihadists. You have to ban the people who are trying to hurt us.

Source: Fox Business Republican 2-tier debate , Jan 14, 2016

Secure border with wall & electronics; but no mass deporting

For 15,000 people a day to be deported every day for two years is an undertaking that almost none of us could accomplish. What we need to do is to secure our border, and we need to do it with more than a wall. We need to use electronics, we need to use drones, we need to use FBI, DEA, and ATF, and we need to take the fingerprint of every person who comes into this country on a visa, and when they overstay their visa, we need to tap them on the shoulder, and say, "It's time for you to go.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN , Sep 16, 2015

Use modern technology to track illegal immigrants

Q: You're getting blowback this weekend because you suggested that we should track foreigners who were in this country on visas and they overstay them the same way that FedEx tracks packages. And critics are saying, "People aren't packages".

CHRISTIE: They're not, my point was that this is again a situation where the private sector laps us in the government with the use of technology. Let's use the same type of technology to make sure that 40 percent of the 11 million people here illegally don't overstay their visas. If FedEx can do it, why can't we use the same technology? And we should bring in the folks from FedEx to use the technology to be able to do it. There's nothing wrong with that. And I don't mean people are packages.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Aug 30, 2015

E-verify instead of building a physical wall

Q: What should be done about the 11 million or so immigrants that are already in the country?

A: There are not enough law enforcement officers, local, state and federal combined to forcibly deport 11 to 12 million people. This is like building a 2,000-mile wall across the border that Mexico is going to pay for. It sounds really good but the question is how? I think the way to do this is E-Verify. If folks new they weren't going to get jobs, they would not come.

Q: And what would you do with the 11 million who are here?

A: We're going to have to come up with a solution that's going to involve using E-Verify as well.

Source: CNN SOTU 2015 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Aug 2, 2015

Increase electronic border surveillance and create E-Verify

Q: What is your plan for the border?

Christie: To build a wall across our entire southern border, that's a simple politician's answer. My plan for the border would be multi-fold. First, it would be to use the [right] type of walling or fencing in certain areas. Second would be to use the type of electronic surveillance that we have available to us both through drones and through other electronic surveillance on the border. Third, of course, is to use Border Patrol officers to be able to do it. And fourth, and most important, is that require every employer in America to use E-Verify. Because these folks are coming to work. And if they're not able to be employed if they come here illegally, if every employer uses E-Verify and if they violate the law, there are fines that are so significant that the profit they make off hiring lower-wage workers and discriminating against American workers won't be worth their while. You'll see a real diminishment of anybody trying to come over the southern border

Source: Fox News Sunday 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jul 5, 2015

No pathway to citizenship, but college tuition for illegals

Christie said in May that he opposes a path to citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally. He did not publicly support or oppose the Senate's bipartisan comprehensive reform bill in 2013. Christie would not answer questions on the topic of immigration at an appearance last summer, nor in a 2013 appearance on ABC's This Week.

Christie signed the New Jersey Dream Act, also known as the Tuition Equality Act, in December 2013, allowing undocumented students to pay in-state tuition rates

Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series , Jun 30, 2015

2010: supported path to citizenship; 2013: backed away

In 2010, the New Jersey governor was a vocal supporter of a path to citizenship: "The president and the Congress have to step up to the plate, they have to secure our borders, and they have to put forward a commonsense path to citizenship for people," Christie told CNN at the time. "What I support is making sure that the federal government [plays] each and every one of its roles: securing the border, enforcing immigration laws, and having an orderly process--whatever that process is--for people to gain citizenship," Christie also said.

Since then, however, Christie has backed away from that stance--or at least refused to reaffirm his support for a path to citizenship. In a 2013 interview with ABC, he repeatedly dodged questions about it.

In 2013, Christie signed the New Jersey DREAM Act, which granted undocumented students in New Jersey access to in-state tuition rates as long as they attended high school in the United States for three years.

Source: National Journal 2016 series: Republicans on immigration , Feb 23, 2015

I favor fixing a broken system

Q: Do you still favor comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship?

CHRISTIE: What I favor is fixing a broken system, and the fact is that everybody knows the system is broken. And what Congress needs to do is get to work, working with each other and the president to fix a broken system that's not serving our economy well, not serving our country well.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2013 interview of Chris Christie , Nov 10, 2013

Path to citizenship in context of fixing broken system

Q: You're for a path to citizenship. You also said that undocumented students in N.J. should get in-state tuition rates. Do you think other states should adopt that policy as well?

CHRISTIE: Nationally, they have to fix a broken system. People across the country look at what governors do, like in N.J., where we confront problems, we debate them, then we get to a table, we come to an agreement, we fix them and we move on. And in Washington, that seems to almost never happen.

Q: Do you think that national solution should include a path to citizenship?

CHRISTIE: The national solution has to be figured out by the people who are in charge of our national government. My job is to fix what's going on in N.J. But we're not going to be able to fix all the things we need in N.J. until national leaders set a national immigration policy. That's federal policy that needs to be fixed. It's a broken system, it's not working for the economy, it's not working for the individuals who are affected by it.

Source: ABC This Week 2013 interviews: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 10, 2013

I've never been opposed to tuition equality for illegals

Christie threaded the needle on the Dream Act, a law that would permit students who entered the country illegally to pay in-state tuition rates. Two years ago he said the state couldn't afford to extend tuition equality to "people who haven't followed the rules." A few days ago in front of a largely Hispanic crowd, he said it's time to reconsider the measure. "I've never been opposed to tuition equality," Christie said.
Source: Newark Star-Ledger on 2013 N.J. Governor debates , Oct 16, 2013

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Page last updated: Jun 15, 2016