What is in this article?:
- Arkansas Rep. John Boozman campaigning for Sen. Blanche Lincoln's seat.
- Polls favor Boozman despite Lincoln being chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee.
- Boozman supports major immigration/tax reforms.
Let me ask you about immigration, especially as it impacts agriculture. As you know, migrant labor is essentially the backbone in some … cotton gins. Your proposals on immigration?
“We need to do two or three things regarding immigration.
“First, I very much believe that we need to seal and secure the border. We need to do that not only because of illegal immigration but also because there’s a huge drug war going (happening) on the other side. The Mexican government is not winning that and it’s spilling over into our country.
“The other reason to secure the border is that we’re at war. We saw this with the Times Square incident where we almost had a bombing. We almost had a bombing on Christmas Day of the airliner.
“These are very serious things. We need to know who is coming and going into our country, right now.
“I would hold employers accountable, those who are hiring people they shouldn’t be. They need to be held accountable.
“No amnesty. That’s very important and something our nation can’t afford.
“I also believe very strongly that we need to make English our official language. That’s the tie that binds us together.
“In regards to agriculture, we all agree that ag desperately needs help. I think you do that through a very strong visa program and solve our labor problems in that way.
“One of the problems we see with ag, right now, is people will come over to work in (agriculture-related) programs. They’ll immediately get out of the ag program — out of the ag visa program, or whatever — not working on farms, leave and go to a more lucrative area.
“We must have a strong visa program that keeps people working the job they’re supposed to be in.
“I very much support the people of Arizona and the Arizona law. I think they had the ability and right to (pass the controversial law). They’re just trying to defend their border. The border is anarchy there, the lawlessness. And there’s a tremendous cost of social services, hospitals and schools and the people of Arizona said, ‘We’re not doing this anymore.’ Their law basically said, ‘We’ll enforce the federal law,’ and I think they have every right to do that.”