In a wide-ranging interview with Alex Pareene of Salon.com, Libertarian Party candidate for President Gary Johnson claimed the Republican Party's platform plank on immigration "borders on racist." The former border-state governor spoke of a radical "disconnect" between the rhetoric and reality on illegal immigration.
"It's anti-immigration. It borders on racist," Johnson, a former governor of New Mexico, said of the platform proposals that include a call for completion of a double layer fence along the nearly 2,000 miles of border between the United States and Mexico; an end to federal Justice Department lawsuits against state laws like those of Arizona and Alabama that authorize state authorities to apprehend and detain illegal immigrants; and a denial of federal funding for colleges and universities that enroll illegal immigrants at the same tuition as legal in-state residents. It also calls for a requirement for employers nationwide to verify the legal status of their workers. Johnson also disagrees with calls from either party for a greater armed presence to stop illegal crossings and the drug trafficking and shooting wars at and near the border.
"Neither party will suggest this but if border violence is a problem, we could probably take care of that by addressing the revenue source of the cartels," Johnson said. "Everyone is suggesting that border violence be addressed with more guns. As opposed to the root cause, which is prohibition of drugs. Romney in the second debate said, and I quote, 'It's a no-brainer that we should build a fence.' Well, I don't have a molecule of brain based on that. It's my adamant position that that would be a waste. Of time, of resources, and we really don't have enough of either."
An advocate of open borders, Johnson said in interview with Rolling Stone magazine last year: "We should make it as easy as possible to get a legal work visa — not citizenship, not a green card. Just a work visa, with a background check and a Social security card so that applicable taxes would be paid." He argued in the same interview that deporting non-legal residents costs, rather than saves, jobs for Americans.
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Photo: In this Sept 23, 2011 file photo, Libertarian Party presidential candidate, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson speaks in Orlando, Fla.: AP Images