Ben Carson says border with Mexico can be secure in 1 year

2015-11-13 11:00
Ben Carson (File: AP)

Ben Carson (File: AP)

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Phoenix - Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said Thursday that the US-Mexico border can be secured in one year and promised to finish a job that has taken decades to come close to accomplishing.

The political newcomer told a telephone town hall audience in Arizona that double fencing and more Border Patrol officers, National Guard troops and technology can get the job done.

"All we have to do is agree upon doing it. And I believe we wouldn't have any problem doing that in less than a year," Carson told the call-in audience.

The retired neurosurgeon, among the leaders in a crowded Republican field, also said he'd allow people in the country illegally to stay as guest workers but would not carve out a special path to citizenship for them. They'd have to register within six months, he said.

"If they don't get registered during that six-month period they are illegals and will be treated accordingly," Carson said. "But if they get registered during that time and they have a pristine record they will be able to be guest workers in areas where we need guest workers. They have to pay a back tax penalty and they have to pay taxes going forward."

Employers also would have to chip in for health insurance, Carson added.

Carson's comments come as the Border Patrol has been working for a decade to boost security. It has added hundreds of miles of fencing and more than doubled manpower along the southwest border. Immigration from Mexico has also slowed considerably this decade.

Read more on:    ben carson  |  us  |  mexico  |  us 2016 elections

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