Local
5:00 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Pantano, Rouzer, and Crow debate Illegal Immigration Reform at Downtown Wilmington Candidates' Forum

The three Republican candidates vying for the chance to face Representative Mike McIntyre in the November election spoke to a packed room inside the New Hanover County Courthouse last night.

Randy Crow, Ilario Pantano and Senator David Rouzer discussed their positions on everything from national security to domestic energy production to job creation.  But, as WHQR’s Rachel Lewis Hilburn reports, it was the question of illegal immigration that highlighted one of deeper divides between Rouzer and Pantano.   

All three candidates agree that reforming the tax code, slashing spending on Capitol Hill, and doing away with corporate regulation that amounts to costly red tape for businesses are critical items on their agenda.  And while Rouzer, Pantano, and Crow also agree that illegal immigration costs American citizens jobs and money, they don’t agree on how to address the problem.  Ilario Pantano says the government should start by securing the borders.

“I’d like to relocate some of our troops from overseas and put them back along the border.  I think it’s very important that we have control of our border, number one.  Number two, we need to remove the magnet, the incentive here.  For example, illegal aliens should not receive in-state tuition.  Veterans that have fought in wars don’t receive in-state tuition rates in many states and yet we give it to illegals.  That’s unacceptable.  We’re rewarding them for bad behavior.”

David Rouzer says he’d like to see guest worker programs set up for those illegal immigrants who are working.

“Let the ones who are contributing to American society and doing work that no other American is willing to do – like dig sweet potatoes and crop tobacco and those kind of things – pick blueberries. Let them earn their way.  They’re contributing to the American economy.  They’re not detracting from it.”

Randy Crow held up Arizona’s tough stance on illegals as a model for the nation.  The primary election takes place May 8th.  One-stop voting begins tomorrow.