In an interview with Univision’s Sunday morning politics show, “Al Punto,” U.S. Congressman and GOP presidential candidate, Ron Paul, discussed his views on immigration reform, Mexico and connecting with Latinos. When asked if his views might not appeal to the growing Hispanic electorate, Paul said he was not going to “kowtow” to Latino voters.
According to a report by ABC News, Paul shrugged off any worries that his message might not appeal to Latino voters who are concerned about immigration reform.
“For me to think I need to have a different message for Hispanics than I do for other people, I think that’s unnecessary. I think Hispanics have as much interest in freedom as everybody else…” said Paul. “I don’t want to punish anyone because they belongs to a group, and nobody should get special privilege either.”
Paul said that illegal immigrants shouldn’t be given any special route to citizenship. Paul told the show’s host, Jorge Ramos, he did not support mass deportation or amnesty, but suggested a program that offers illegal immigrants the possibility to earn a work permit and fold them into the American system legally.
“If everyone who comes illegally is automatically given citizenship, a vote, and can apply for welfare, that would not be good format because we would have more of it,” said Paul. Addressing the 11 million currently in the country Paul said, “you have to work out a program of assimilation, but you can’t just say borders don’t count and people should be rewarded for breaking the law.”
The Texas Congressman also discussed his interpretation of the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, adding that children born to illegal immigrants are not under the jurisdiction of U.S. government and should not be granted automatic citizenship.
When asked if America should “talk to dictators” like Cuba’s Fidel Castro, Paul said “why not!” He added that the United States should have started trading with Cuba “a long time ago.” Yet, Paul opposes the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), voted against the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), and has expressed opposition to trade agreements with Colombia and Panama.
I applaud Ron Paul for speaking to Spanish news networks and discussing his agenda. I also applaud Paul for saying candidates should not change their message to cater to different audiences. He should not be surprised that many Latino voters will likely clash with some of his policies, including, but not limited to, supporting trade with Cuba and his interpretation of the 14th amendment.
Interview in Spanish: