Wednesday, 17 July 2024 21:35

Potential presidential candidate Rick Santorum, visiting Council Bluffs, supports reducing legal immigration

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Rick Santorum isn’t just against illegal immigration. The potential Republican presidential candidate also would like to reduce the number of legal immigrants who come to this country each year.

Santorum, whose grandfather immigrated to America from Italy in the 1920s, said he believes the nation’s immigration policies need to be reformed so that fewer unskilled laborers are admitted into this country to compete with blue-collar Americans.

Each year about 1.1 million legal immigrants are allowed into the United States. Santorum said many of them are taking jobs that Americans could fill.

“We need to be on the side of the American worker — people who are struggling today,” Santorum told an audience of about 50 on Monday.

Winner of Iowa’s 2012 Republican presidential caucuses, Santorum is on a two-day swing through southwestern Iowa. He is reintroducing himself to voters as well as pitching a new book about his daughter, Bella, who was born with a chromosomal abnormality known as Trisomy 18. Besides his Iowa appearances, Santorum held a book-signing event Monday in Omaha.

Santorum made his name as a staunch anti-abortion activist and opponent of same-sex marriage. He served two terms in the U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania before being defeated in his 2006 bid for re-election.

Four years ago the Iowa religious-right community helped give Santorum a narrow win over Mitt Romney. Romney eventually won the GOP nomination, but Santorum won 11 primary and caucus states.

For the past two years he has been running a film production company, EchoLight Studios, dedicated to making Christian-oriented movies. Santorum said the nation’s culture needs to be reformed.

“One of the things I realized (during 2012) is that culture is leading politics and not the other way around,” Santorum said.

Much of the message that Santorum delivered Monday was similar to themes he sounded in 2012, including his populist argument that Republicans needed to focus more attention on the middle class.

Specifically, Santorum said, more has to be done about “wage stagnation” in America.

“The top is doing fine,” Santorum said, but the “middle of America is being hollowed out.”

He said one way to help the nation’s middle class is to improve the nation’s manufacturing sector. That could be done, he said, by lowering the corporate tax rate, simplifying the nation’s tax code and reducing the number of legal immigrants allowed into this country each year.

He also took a slight jab at two possible GOP presidential rivals: former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Bush and Christie have both supported an educational standards initiative known as Common Core. Christie has since said he now has “grave concerns” about Common Core.

Santorum said that unlike those two governors, he believes states, not the federal government, should be in charge of education.

“We don’t need Common Core. We need common sense,” said Santorum, garnering the biggest applause of his 60-minute speech.

Source: Omaha World Herald

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