Three-time presidential candidate and Texas Libertarian Ron Paul said Tuesday on CNBC that we don’t need a border wall to stop illegal immigration along the southern border, and should instead focus efforts on removing incentives for coming to the U.S. illegally.
“I’m an OB doctor … close to the border, so people would pop in and have a baby, and all of a sudden the next day they went to the courthouse to sign up for all of the welfare programs. That’s not the way citizenship should be handled.”
Paul, a frequent critic of the Federal Reserve, the “welfare state” and “military industrial complex,” served 12 terms in congress from his home state of Texas, which shares 1,254 miles of common border with Mexico.
“I don’t like walls,” Paul said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” program. “I don’t want to wall people in and wall people out.”
Paul also talked about the ongoing government shutdown, which, at 18 days on Tuesday, is quickly approaching the longest shutdown ever of 21 days, calling it insignificant in the bigger picture.
“The shutdown is not too significant in the scheme of things,” Paul said. “But it’s another thing that can stir up trouble and people react to it. But, no, I think they’re completely wrong. I don’t like walls. I’m a Libertarian. I don’t want to wall people in and I don’t want to wall people out.
“But I don’t want free, open borders either. I think you have to remove the incentives for people to come, and they come because there’s a welfare system here, easy access to citizenship. It’s politicized because one group thinks they can get the votes. But people should be able to come to visit and work, but you have to get rid of the incentives — no easy road to citizenship.”
Paul, who also is an obstetrician-gynecologist who has delivered more than 4,000 babies, said he saw too many occasions where people came across the border to have a child and then immediately sought welfare.
“I’m an OB doctor … close to the border, so people would pop in and have a baby, and all of a sudden the next day they went to the courthouse to sign up for all of the welfare programs. That’s not the way citizenship should be handled. So if you remove all of these incentives — the welfare state, easy road to citizenship — and expose the people who are pushing this because they’re looking for more voters, you don’t need a wall.”