Kasich Says 'Path to Legalization' Is Not Amnesty

By Susan Jones | March 21, 2016 | 6:03 AM EDT

Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks at a town hall event at Utah Valley University, Friday, March 18, 2016, in Orem, Utah. (AP Photo/Kim Raff)

(CNSNews.com) - Ohio Gov. John Kasich says his immigration plan "is a reasonable approach, but not a path to citizenship."

On several of the Sunday shows, Kasich explained again what he will and will not do. He said he believes his guest worker/path to legalization plan will be accepted both by the American people and by the Congress, even though the Republican-led House rejected a similar plan in 2013.

"I think we need to finish the border," Kasich told "Fox News Sunday." "And once it's finished, people cannot sneak in. They shouldn't sneak in now. They've got to...be sent home.

"We should have a guest worker program. And for the 11.5 million who are here illegally, if they've not committed a crime since they've been here, I would give them a path to legalization where they pay a fine, back taxes, delay in any kind of benefits they get. I think is a reasonable approach, but not a path to citizenship.

"My position has not changed. The idea that we're going to go into communities and yank people out of their homes and leave their kids on the porch crying, that's not what we're going to do. That's -- that's just -- that's more promises that will never happen, and the people will become more cynical. I don't make promises, by and large, that I can't keep. I try to keep what I say. And I - I'm not deviated from this position at all.

Host Chris Wallace told Kasich that Republican Sen. Ted Cruz calls such a plan "amnesty."

"He can call it anything he wants to," Kasich responded. "I'm just telling you my position, and I believe that position will be accepted by the American people and that position can pass the Congress. I lay this out in every town hall meeting. If somebody asks me, I tell them.

"But what about...the argument they did break the law, they came into this country illegally--" Wallace asked Kasich. "And - and you're letting them basically be able to stay in the country despite that."

"Chris, Chris, I know that you don't believe that we can go house-to-house and block-to-block trying to track these people down to ship them out. You know that. Come on. The people know it, too.

"That's just silly. You know what, I'm in this race to try to fix things, not to go out and make crazy promises that are not going to happen, that are going to further aggravate the American people.

"So, look, you know, if people don't like that position, that's OK. I'm cool with it. But I'm not going to change my position, because I think it's reasonable and I think this whole problem is fixable. I believe it. Reagan tried. I will get--I will finish the job."

Kasich said something similar on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"[O]n immigration, I do not believe it is practical nor doable to search in the neighborhoods and yank the people who came here illegally, who have not committed a crime since they've been here, and ship them out of this country. That is not going to happen.

"The plan that I support, finishing the border, making sure you have a guest worker program and having the 11.5 million who came here illegally, who have not committed a crime, pay back taxes, pay a fine.

"Let me tell you, they then can have a path to legalization and not citizenship. And any other position than that just isn't going to work, Chuck. I hate to tell you that. It isn't going to work," Kasich told host Chuck Todd.


Please support CNSNews today! (a 501c3 non-profit production of the Media Research Center)

DONATE