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Sunday, October 23, 2016

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson on Sunday called for using drones to beef up surveillance along the U.S.-Mexico border and destroy caves used by those who smuggle people and drugs, but said he did not support strikes aimed at people.

Carson, speaking on CNN’s State of the Union, dismissed reports that he had suggested using drone strikes to target people trying to cross into the United States as a “total lie” and blamed media reports as irresponsible.

“Read my lips. I said there are caves that they utilize. Those caves can be eliminated. I’m not talking about killing people,” the retired neurosurgeon told CNN. “In no way, did I suggest that drones be used to kill people.”

Carson suggested greater use of drones to patrol border areas after a tour of the region last week. He said local authorities told him they were completely outgunned and receiving little assistance from federal authorities.

Immigration has become a contentious issue for Republicans seeking the presidency in the November 2016 election. Donald Trump, the party’s front-runner, and other contenders have called for amending the Constitution to end of the right of automatic citizenship for all people born in the United States.

Carson reiterated his support for deporting families who come to the United States expressly to have children and ensure them U.S. citizenship. Critics call those children “anchor babies,” but others view it as offensive.

Carson said he did not view the term as racist and dismissed such objections as “silly political correctness.”

A Reuters/Ipsos poll on Friday showed Trump with 32 percent of the support of Republicans, followed by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush with 16 percent, and Carson with 8 percent.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Dominic Evans)

Photo: Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson speaks at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa August 16, 2015. REUTERS/Joshua Lott

  • Dominick Vila

    The first thing that comes to mind after reading this article is whether or not Dr. Carson considered the distinct probability that the alleged caves may be occupied? Whether his “solution” to our immigration problems refers to using drones to kill people entering the USA illegally, or destroying the caves where they allegedly hide, both ideas demonstrate a level of inhumanity that ought to embarrass and scare every sane American citizen.
    BTW, most of the Mexican and Central American people who enter the USA without a passport and an entry visa are single people, not couple coming for the express purpose of having children to avoid deportation, be granted citizenship or get permanent residency.
    They enter the USA illegally because our immigration laws have no provisions to grant visas to semi-skilled or unskilled laborers, and because the entrepreneurs who benefit from the labor of our pseudo slaves don’t want our laws changed because doing so would extend labor rights to illegal immigrants already in the country, and to those entering the country legally after our laws are changed. The whole thing is influenced by greed, lack of morals bordering on inhumanity, and intense ethnic and cultural hatred that sometimes border of paranoia or schizophrenia.
    Hearing charlatans like Carson offer “solutions” like this at a time when people in Europe are demanding a greater commitment from their governments to ensure undocumented immigrants from Northern Africa and from Sub-Saharan countries don’t drown when their overcrowded boats capsize trying to cross the Mediterranean establish a contrast between the civilized world and a segment of our population that should give us time to pause, reflect on what we are saying and doing, and make an effort to join the community of nations instead of acting like bigots.

    • rvn_sgt6768

      Exactly and well said. Problem is what you advocate is not to be found in the GOP. There was a time when it did exist there but not in the past 30 odd years.

      • Dominick Vila

        This is definitely not the party of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, or Eisenhower. What those Presidents represented and fought for went out the window when The Gipper characterized our government as being the cause of all evils, and engaged in destructive and divisive rhetoric about a Welfare Queen driving her Cadillac to collect her check at the local Welfare Office.
        The sad part about people like Dr. Carson is that he does not seem to understand that he is being used by the Republican party to project a semblance of inclusiveness where none exists.

        • TZToronto

          The definition of illegal immigration is possibly at the heart of the issue. If stemming the (alleged) tide of illegal immigration is a law enforcement issue, then it must be dealt with as such. If it is actually an invasion, then it’s a different issue. If it is considered an invasion, then the military could be used to end it. If it’s a law enforcement issue, then the military has no place. Does Carson know about posse comitatus?

          10 U.S.C. § 375. Restriction on direct participation by military personnel

          The Secretary of Defense
          shall prescribe such regulations as may be necessary to ensure that any
          activity (including the provision of any equipment or facility or the
          assignment or detail of any personnel) under this chapter does not
          include or permit direct participation by a member of the Army, Navy,
          Air Force, or Marine Corps in a search, seizure, arrest, or other
          similar activity unless participation in such activity by such member is
          otherwise authorized by law.

          18 U.S.C. § 1385. Use of Army and Air Force as posse comitatus

          Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly
          authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any
          part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to
          execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more
          than two years, or both. [from Wikipedia]

          If Carson (or any President) were to use the U.S. military to deal with illegal immigration, it would be an impeachable offense. However, the activity suggested by Carson could be carried out by National Guard personnel, but it would have to be done without any participation of the U.S. armed forces (e.g., the provision of equipment, like drones).

          • Dominick Vila

            The only thing Dr. Carson, and most of the others running for the GOP nomination, know is that they are polling in single digits, and that unless they manage to generate some enthusiasm their candidacies are finished. Because of their party affiliation, that means pandering to the far right and appealing to the most pervasive members of our society.

          • TZToronto

            I think many of the GOP wannabes have the Trump disease. That is, they want to make the “base” think that they have solutions to what the base perceives as problems (because the base have been told that these are problems). The candidates may know that what they are proposing is illegal or unconstitutional or has no chance of ever being implemented, but the base does not. They think, as Nixon told David Frost, that when the President does it, it’s not illegal.

          • JPHALL

            That is true unless the President is Black. Then everything he does is illegal.

          • TZToronto

            Excellent point!

  • rednekokie

    These border nit-wits seem to forget that, unless you are descended from native Americans, you are either immigrants or descended from same. This country would not be here were it not for immigrants — most of whom came here in order to find work and a new life, which is all the Mexican and Central American people are trying to do. I look upon those who would build walls or bomb caves as purely selfish, desiring to keep for themselves the freedom that they did not earn. It is disgusting, and none of them will ever get my vote. Half of the occupants of my state, Oklahoma, are descended from illegals — those whom we honor now, as the so-called “Sooners” who illegally crossed over into the state in order to claim land, which would have ordinarily gone to the Boomers, those who entered the state legally.
    I find it especially insulting that those whose pedigree is less than perfect are whining about others trying to do exactly the same thing as the Sooner’s forebears.

    • anothertoothpick

      It is called racial scapegoating. What the republitards are telling us is that the problem with this country is not the 1% who actually run the country.

      The problem is these damn Mexicans.

      By the way. Undocumented workers from Mexico make up 3.5% of the work force.

      • rednekokie

        Thanks, but I prefer to call it racial bigotry, pure and simple.
        They aren’t like (most of) us, therefore they shouldn’t be let in.

  • Robert Eckert

    “Caves”??? What is he talking about?

  • anothertoothpick

    Yeah…that’s it. Caves…I said drone caves…yeah …that’s the ticket Caves.

  • Hutchbilly

    You can’t clean up that stain, Bennie, we remember………