Q. Why are you running for office and why are you interested in the Hispanic community? What is your opinion of the Hispanic community?
A. I am running because Texas and the nation face huge problems. The Hispanic community would be a large part of my constituency, and I believe the solution to many problems lies in values that are evident in the Hispanic community—personal responsibility and a focus on family, instead of reliance on government; the spirit of the entrepreneur—-with its creativity and innovation; and fiscal conservatism—-not wasting money and resources. These are the values that government should have, and Hispanics have all of these values. American Hispanics will, I believe, help to return this nation to the principles on which it was founded—-the free market, limited government, and personal liberty and responsibility.
Q. What else does your campaign promote?
A. I stand for lower taxes because having control of your money—-the fruit of your labor—-is the heart of liberty. When you lower taxes, the money does not disappear. It stays in the wallets of the people and they do good things with it. The create businesses and jobs, they buy things to raise their standard of living (which also creates jobs), and they give the money to churches and private charities, which are much better at providing services to those in need than the politicians are. High taxes especially hurt low income people, because ultimately they pay the tax in the form of higher prices, higher rent, and lost jobs. There is no such thing as taxing only the rich. The poor are more harmed by high taxes than anyone else.
Q. You have claimed that the situation faced by millions of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. is due to mismanagement by past administrations. What did you mean?
A. Too often, government creates more problems than it solves. The private sector and the people themselves would solve many of our problems, if they weren’t paying such high taxes (and the resulting high prices and high rents) to receive poor services and dysfunctional policies. In the case of immigration, we have created an untenable and unsustainable situation: We have perhaps 20 million people who live and work below the level of the law. The vast majority are good, hard-working people, but we have created a sub-culture and a very large underclass that is easily exploited, that is afraid to report crime, that does not have the protection of the law and the courts, and that is more subject to crime, gangs, drugs, and potentially terrorist infiltration. And there is the problem that human trafficking, organized crime, crime in general, and also terrorism are harder to investigate, prosecute, and defeat, when they occur within a large group of illegal residents. I do not believe the nation can continue with this large and growing class of residents who are isolated into a separate sub-culture. A nation needs clear borders and an identifiable citizenry that votes and taxes itself and decides its policies. A less-than-equal subclass, if it is as large as what we currently have, defeats this vision.
Q. But why do you say that government “caused” this problem?
A. First, our policies have created so much pressure on employers, with the minimum wage, over-regulation, over-unionization, and crazy law suits, that we have created the need for an “illegal” labor market. I call this the “black market” for labor. This is the natural economic outcome of bad government policy that was supposed to be “pro-worker” but actually causes employers to hire as few people as possible and creates distorted employer-employee relations. At the same time, Democrat politicians, in collaboration with labor unions, have created high barriers to trade, especially with Mexico. This creates unemployment in Mexico, because Mexico cannot export its products as easily. What do you get when you create a need for “illegal” labor in one nation, and right next door you create high employment? The answer is that you will get migration—-people will go where the jobs are. If you add to this the free social welfare programs in the U.S.—-and I oppose these, except for the very few who cannot take care of themselves—-then you create an incentive for even more illegal immigration.
These policies in the U.S., over the past 50 years, have created this problem.
Q. How do you think it should be solved?
A. First, we need to control of flow of immigration by controlling the border and raising the number of legal immigrants allowed to come here. Next, I support the return to a free-market approach to labor. This means repealing the minimum wage and excessive labor regulations, and putting an end to over-protecting the unions. I know many people disagree with this, because they think those policies are “pro-worker,” but they are not. Next, allow more free trade internationally, which will make large scale migrations of workers less necessary. Finally, reduce social welfare programs except for those who are genuinely unable to take care of themselves. I would stop the legislation my opponent has proposed, which is even more red tape for employers who want to hire workers from Mexico, and would force employers to provide housing and cheap meals to these workers. This will cause even fewer jobs and poor living conditions in a labor-camp atmosphere, where workers are treated as though they are not even capable of choosing their own housing and food.
My proposal is a concept I call “legal non-citizenship” I would legalize the status of people who are already here, but without citizenship. This will allow driver’s licenses, insurance, and control of crime, but would not allow voting. There then needs to be a path to citizenship (including the right to vote, of course) that includes learning English and understanding American law and the Constitution. I support an equal opportunity for immigrants from every nation to join our ranks as equal citizens. I do not want a permanent underclass.
Q. But if this were carried out—-Texas making non-citizens “legal”—-wouldn’t this overpopulate the state when all the undocumented try to come here?
A. I am not troubled by different states having different policies for how they deal with their residents—-people who are already here—-if the federal government continues to ignore this problem. And if the states compete against each other to get good people, that would be a good thing. I think you will see that happening if we had my concept of legal non-citizenship. The states would compete against each other to get Hispanics and others to come in. At the same time, if we scale back the free social services to only those who genuinely cannot take care of themselves, and if we create a climate of personal freedom, I believe we will encourage people coming to Texas who will make a contribution and who will not become dependent on government.
Published Oct. 14, 2010