Presidential candidate Gov. Chris Christie said the planned proposal by fellow Republican Donald Trump to have Mexico build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border “makes no sense.”
During a morning appearance on CNN’s “New Day” on Monday, the New Jersey governor slammed Trump’s plan, saying that if the United States were to present Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto with a bill for the wall, the president would simply ignore it.
“This is not a negotiation of a real estate deal, OK? This is international diplomacy, and it’s different,” said Christie.
As part of his immigration plan, Trump has said that a border wall would stem the flow of illegal immigration. But, he said, the U.S. should not have to pay for it – Mexico should.
Trump, whose remarks about immigrants have made headlines over the past several months, has made immigration a centerpiece of his 2016 White House bid.
“For many years, Mexico’s leaders have been taking advantage of the United States by using illegal immigration to export the crime and poverty in their own country (as well as in other Latin American countries),” Trump wrote in the first position paper posted on his website Sunday. “[The] Mexican government has taken the United States to the cleaners. They are responsible for this problem, and they must help pay to clean it up.”
Among his other proposals, Trump wants the immediate deportation of undocumented immigrants and wants to deny citizenship to babies of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally, calling it the “biggest magnet for illegal immigration.”
But not all Republican candidates oppose Trump’s proposal. Scott Walker, who also released his immigration plan, said on Monday that his own proposal mirrors Trump’s.
"I haven't looked at all the details of his but the things I've heard are very similar to the things I've mentioned," the Wisconsin governor told Fox & Friends.
Christie also offered his own ideas on immigration reform that included building some fences paid for the U.S. in certain places along the border, embedding FBI and federal drug agents with Border Patrol and using drones to monitor more difficult terrain.
He also wants to implement an e-verify program – Trump also included this in his proposal – that would determine a worker’s eligibility.
“The fact is, these folks are coming over here to work,” Christie said. “They’re not coming to vote, they’re coming to work. And if they know they can’t get jobs, then they’re not going to come.”