(CNSNews.com) - Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) says the nation's immigration system is "completely backwards" -- the opposite of what it should be:
"What I believe we need is a system of high walls and a broad gate. Right now we've got the opposite, we've got low walls and a narrow gate. And what I mean by that is we make it very difficult for people to come here legally; we make it very easy for people to come here illegally.
"As the son of immigrants, I think that, certainly, a lot of people think we should let more people come into our country because it's compassionate for them, and it certainly is. But I think we should also let more people come into our country legally because it's good for us. When people want to come here, work hard, get an education, play by the rules, that's good for America."
Jindal told CNN's "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley that he would require people coming through his "broad gate" to learn English, pay a fine and pass a criminal background check:
"Look, right now we're educating some of the world's best and brightest and then kicking them out of our country to compete with us. I do think it's right to say we need to secure the border first. I think if the president had been serious about this the last five years, we'd be further along in this discussion. I think the American people are compassionate. I don't think we're the kind of people that are going to kick people out of schools or hospitals or punish kids for what their parents have done.
"But I think it's also right the American people are skeptical. We've seen this play before, we remember what happened in the '80s, so we have to secure the borders first. But I think after we do that -- and when I say secure the borders, I mean, let the border governors certify that it's secure. Let's not measure it in terms of just dollars spent or effort expended."
Jindal said immigration reform is just one of the nation's pressing problems. He said Republicans also should focus on replacing Obamacare and growing the economy.
Asked if he will run for president in 2016, Jindal gave the same reply given by most politicians: "Let's win elections in 2014 and then let's decide about '16," he said.