Pat Buchanan on price tag to carry out immigration reform

Insight into the executive action


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," December 26, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRENDA BUTTNER, GUEST HOST: Well, add this to the cost of benefits for these illegals.

And Pat Buchanan's had it.

Welcome, Pat.


BUTTNER: I'm well, thanks. What do you think of this?

BUCHANAN: Well, I think we are just at the beginning of a bonanza for big government. They're going to 1,000 employees at $50 million.

Let me tell you how many people they're dealing with. They're dealing with five million undocumented immigrants or illegal aliens. Brenda, that is the entire population combined of North Dakota, South Dakota, Alaska, Vermont, Delaware, and one other state that I can't think of, six states.

Do you really think that 1,000 people can take these five million, investigate them, provide them each with Social Security, work permits, photo I.D.s? This is the beginning of a very, very large government program.

BUTTNER: You know, what can Congress do? The president's clearly racing ahead before the Republicans take control of both chambers of Congress. But they don't really have a united plan to combat the president.

BUCHANAN: Well, what they can do, what your former guest just said, is, what they can do is deny the president the funds in the Department of Homeland Security when they vote on it in February.

Deny him any funds to proceed with this program. The problem for the Republicans is what happens if the president vetoes it. Are they willing to go to the wall with the president of the United States on this? Because a lot of Republicans, candidly, behind the scenes, the corporate Republicans, the K Street Republicans...


BUCHANAN: ... would just as soon get this off the table and behind them. It's done. And so it's going to have to be a collision both inside the Republican caucuses in the House and Senate, and with the president of the United States.

BUTTNER: Yes, they're definitely not united on this.

But, meanwhile, the taxpayers are left holding the bag for this.

BUCHANAN: They're left holding the bag on all of this. This is astonishing. You got five million people broke into the country or overstayed their visas, and enormous cost are being incurred.

Those costs are being increased. And now the taxpayers are going to pay for a brand-new bureaucracy to facilitate making all these folks legal workers, where they compete with those same Americans for jobs. I don't think it sounds very fair at Christmastime.

BUTTNER: Yes, that's true.

But the administration says that the fees recouped from these illegal immigrants will make up for them.


BUCHANAN: Good luck.


BUCHANAN: I think we're -- up-front costs, as I say -- you cannot do this with 1,000 people. That would be 5,000 illegal aliens for every individual in this new department or this new section.

They cannot do it. There are going to be thousands and thousands more if they're going to get this done. And what President Obama wants to do is get it started, get the train rolling down the track, and then tell Congress and the Republicans, you can't stop it now and you certainly can't roll it back.

BUTTNER: OK, Pat, if Congress can't do anything, what presidential candidate, potential presidential candidate do you think can take on this issue?

BUCHANAN: Well, here's another issue you just raised, Brenda, that is a very good one. Jeb Bush has been very much for immigration reform in the past. I don't think he liked this particular executive amnesty, but is Jeb Bush going to stand up and say, stop this, even if you have to shut down the Homeland Security Department temporarily, that don't give these folks green cards, don't give them Social Security cards?

Is he going to do that when his reach is supposedly into the Hispanic community and he is being told, Jeb, don't do it, you will kill your advantage? So that's going to be a real question for him, and it's going to be a real split, I think, among the potential Republican candidates.

And the focus -- because Jeb Bush is out front and he's out front on this issue, the focus is going to be on him.

BUTTNER: Do you think anybody out there has the guts to take this on?

BUCHANAN: Oh, yes.


BUCHANAN: I see a number of them out there. You don't need all that much guts if it's a real battle and you can go after the front-runner, Jeb Bush. I think you could see Cruz, certainly, standing up and saying, no, we got stop this cold, I mean, from everything I have seen, what he has been doing.

But not only him, a number of others who want to be the populist candidate, the outlier candidate who challenges the establishment candidate -- if you are -- if you're in that bracket, if you will, Brenda, you want to find a way you can take on the front-runner on an issue that is extraordinarily popular with the Republican base, and standing up against illegal immigration is.

BUTTNER: That's right.

OK, Pat Buchanan, thank you so much for joining us.

BUCHANAN: Thank you, Brenda.

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