Two-term former New Mexico Governor and 2012 Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson is calling Donald Trump’s visit to the Mexican border a “photo op that is just too easy” and an “entirely predictable part of his ‘blame it on Mexico’ campaign”. In a statement released Thursday, July 23, 2015, Johnson, a former border Governor said, “It’s embarrassing to see Donald Trump joining the list of politicians who visit the border for a couple of hours, usually after lecturing us about immigration and border security, and vow to solve our problems by building a bigger fence. It’s just too easy and solves nothing.”
From the time Donald Trump’s jet landed to the time it took off, Trump was in Texas less than three hours. Trump spent one half hour with local leaders at the federally owned and operated World Trade Bridge in Loredo, Texas to discuss illegal immigration. Trump has been touting the strong need for a border fence to control illegal immigration; however, Loredo town manager, Jesus Olivares said, “We don’t think that’s necessary at this time.” Apparently, the people most familiar and affected by illegal immigration could educate Trump and other presidential candidates who are not from border states. Republican Rick Perry, who governed border state Texas, agrees with Johnson and Olivares that a fence is not the solution conservatives are seeking to put a halt to illegal immigration.
Johnson would know what he’s talking about as New Mexico is a border state with Mexico. Johnson continued:
“What makes Trump’s exploitation of immigrants even more embarrassing is that he has built his fortune in the very industries that clearly depend on immigrant labor, both legal and illegal. Instead of posing for the cameras in Laredo, maybe he should be checking to see how many illegal immigrants have helped him build his buildings, serve the guests in his hotels and casinos, and contributed to his billions. He should know better than anyone that illegal immigration isn’t about fences and drones. Rather, it is entirely about an arcane system that doesn’t allow immigrants to legally fill the needs of the job market.”
Building a wall across the entire Mexican border, and somehow getting Mexico to pay for it, is just crazy, and more importantly, won’t solve the problem. Replicating a Berlin Wall isn’t something Americans want to do, and it won’t work any better here than it did in Berlin. Border security means knowing who is coming here and why, not building an ever-bigger fence and militarizing our boundaries. A functional, market-based work visa program that would allow businesses like Donald Trump’s to easily hire immigrant workers will do far more for both security and the economy than all the fences and drones in the world. Yet, the politicians refuse to put such a system in place.
As far as all that crime Mr. Trump claims Mexico is sending to us, that’s not an immigration problem. Immigrants, legal or not, don’t commit crimes at any higher rate than we red-blooded Americans do, and border violence — which is very real and very tragic — is almost entirely about a failed War on Drugs and the prohibition it perpetuates.”
Gov. Johnson serves as the Honorary Chair for Our America Initiative, an organization that is fighting to change the failed War on Drugs and to solve immigration and trade issues through market-based solutions.