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Ben Carson | NumbersUSA - For Lower Immigration Levels

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Ben Carson


Updated: 2/02/16
White House

Republican Convention:

Reduce competition from, and enticement for,
Prevent competition from
Reduce unfair competition from

Tell Ben Carson he can do better on immigration:

Rating Sources


Click on individual ratings to view quotes and other source materials for that rating.

Mandate E-Verify-plus
  • In January 2016 Dr. Carson released his immigration plan that included mandating E-verify for all current and future employees. “As president, I will make E-Verify mandatory and permanent, and apply it to both existing and new employees. Currently, federal law prohibits employers from knowingly hiring those here illegally, but it does not require that employers use E-Verify. That will change under my administration.” Source:

  • In July 2014, Dr. Carson didn't mention E-Verify by name, but he did say that employers should face harsh punishments for hiring illegal aliens: "You have to reduce the incentive for people to want to come here. That's how you fix the problem. I guarantee you that if you remove all the goodies, people will find a way to get out of here just like they found a way to get in here. And one of the most important parts of that are the employers," he said. "As far as I'm concerned, the second offense, if you hire someone who's not here legally, should be a criminal offense -- and they should be treated as such. Absolutely." Source:

Prevent illegal border entries & surges
  • In January 2016 Dr. Carson released his immigration plan, including his plan to increase border security. “Installing layered fencing and other appropriate barriers backed by robust surveillance.  Increasing the number of U.S. Border Patrol agents to respond to incursions and to enlarge and strengthen the coverage area. Deputizing local law enforcement to provide additional manpower along the border. Deploying the National Guard along the southern border as required. My border security program will also provide increased resources for more effectively screening cargo and passengers at all ports of entry, and for ending the current practice of catching and releasing violators.” Source:

  • During the September 2015 CNN Presidential Debate Carson mentioned building a stronger border. He said,”I recognize that we have an incredible illegal immigration problem. The fences at the border are not manned.  We need to look at something that actually works, like in Yuma County, Arizona, where they put in a double fence.” Source:
  • In June 2014, Dr. Carson attacked President Obama for causing the border surge and then refusing to take action to stem the tide of illegal aliens, saying Obama announced his amnesty "recognizing that news would eventually spread like wildfire [to other countries] and all of a sudden you would precipitate this humanitarian crisis that is going on now." Source:
  • In January 2015, Dr. Carson spoke of securing the border and needing to find the political will to do so, but has not released specifics. However, he has recognized that "whoever wins in 2016 [has to] make it their goal to seal the border within a year." Source:
  • During a June 2015 speech to the National Association of Latino Elected Officials, Dr. Carson called for a secure border. "The reason that I think we need to seal our borders completely, all of our borders — north, south, east and west — is not so much because I’m afraid of somebody from Honduras, but I’m afraid of somebody from Syria who wants to bomb us and do bad things." Source:
  • In August 2015 Ben Carson told reporters that he wants to build a wall but doesn’t think that’s the only thing that should happen. He wants more people patrolling from the Border Patrol and the military, and tons of technology to back them up. “I think the border wall is a good start,” Carson added. “But in and of itself it’s not going to be that effective. It’s going to require human beings to be involved and we have human beings who can do this job.” Source:

Implement Interior Enforcement
  • During a campaign stop in New Hampshire in July 2015, Dr. Carson sad he oppose sanctuary cities and blocking illegal aliens access to public benefits was an important piece to ending illegal immigration. “No sanctuary cities,” said Carson. “That’s part one [border security]. Part two is, you have to turn off the spigot that dispenses the goodies.” Source:
  • During a June 2015 speech to the National Association of Latino Elected Officials, Dr. Carson said you need to cut off the rewards to illegal aliens in order to stop illegal immigration. "We do have an illegal immigration problem that would be solved if you seal the borders and you cease benefits so people wouldn’t have a reason to come." Source:
  • At the Commonwealth Club on San Francisco discussion in September 2015 Ben Carson knocked rival Donald Trump's immigration plan on Tuesday, saying that deporting the country's undocumented immigrants "sounds really cool" but would be far too costly and complicated. "It sounds really cool, you know, 'Let's just round them all up and send them back,'" Carson said. "People who say that have no idea what that would entail in terms of our legal system, the costs - forget about it. Plus, where you gonna send them? It's just a double whammy." Source:

Finish entry-exit system to track visa overstays
  • In January 2016 Dr. Carson released his immigration plan that included implementing a biometric entry-exit system but did not specifically mention if this system would be available at all points of entry into the U.S. “One solution is to require DHS to implement a biometric entry-exit system that would use fingerprints, iris scans and facial recognition to track those entering and exiting the country. Congress has already mandated the development of such a system, and a Carson administration will implement this congressional mandate.” Source:

End automatic birthright citizenship

Oppose work permits for illegal immigrants
  • In January 2016 Dr. Carson released his immigration plan that would offer illegal aliens already living in the U.S. an opportunity to receive work permits. “A solution must be found, but we must recognize that it is not feasible to root out and deport every illegal immigrant residing in this country. My administration will give illegal immigrants a six-month period to register with the federal government. If they do not register, they will be violating the law and subject to apprehension and prosecution as criminals. If they register in that six-month window and have an acceptable record, they could become eligible for guest worker status by paying a back tax penalty, continuing to pay future taxes, providing proof of sponsorship by an employer and submitting for regular review and renewal of the worker permit. Under this process, every illegal immigrant would be accounted for and processed according to their circumstances. Illegal immigrants who become guest workers will not, however, receive citizenship and everything that comes with that privilege, such as voting rights.” Source:

  • During a Nov. 2015 press conference Carson introduced his proposal for the 11-plus million illegal aliens already in America He said, “I propose that we give them a six month period in which to register. If they don’t register, they’re criminals and treated as such. If they register in that six-month period and have a pristine record and they wish to be guest workers in this country they would have to pay a back tax penalty and have to continue to pay taxes going forward. They would no longer have to live in the shadow.” Source:
  • During the September 2015 CNN Presidential Debate Ben Carson greatly narrowed who would get temporary work permits to primarily agricultural workers. "After we seal the borders, after we turn off the spigot that dispenses all the goodies...people who had a pristine record we should consider allowing them to become guest workers primarily in the agricultural sphere," Carson said. "If they don't do it within that time period then they become illegal and as illegals they will be treated as such," he said. Carson said his plan is not amnesty because farmers cannot find American workers, which prompted criticism from some social media users who perceived the remark as suggesting immigrants can only do farm work. Source:
  • During a June 2015 speech to the National Association of Latino Elected Officials, Dr. Carson called for a guest worker program for illegal aliens. "And as a guest worker, you can certainly apply for citizenship, but you have to go through the same process as everyone else. There are many Latinos who are American citizens and have done it the right way, and they’re of equal value with everybody else, so we shouldn’t just toss them to the curb. And they’re many who feel that way." Source:
  • During a Presidential forum in Baltimore, Md. in June 2015, Dr. Carson said he supported a guest worker program for illegal aliens. "Give them an opportunity to become guest workers so they can at least come out of the shadows." Source:
  • In May 2015, Dr. Carson applauded a decision by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold a temporary stay against Pres. Obama's executive amnesties. “It’s an important victory for those committed to preserving the rule of law, the essential consent of Congress and ultimately the voice of the people,” Carson said. Source:
  • In his 2012 book, "America the Beautiful", Dr. Carson opposed President Obama's executive amnesty programs and said that illegal workers have a negative impact on jobless Americans. However, Carson does believe that the United States has a moral obligation to give work permits to some illegal aliens. "Is it moral for us, for example, to take advantage of cheap labor from illegal immigrants while denying them citizenship? I'm sure you can tell from the way I phrased the question that I believe we have taken the moral low road on this issue. Some segments of our economy would virtually collapse without these undocumented workers--we all know that--yet we continue to harass and deport many individuals who are simply seeking a better life for themselves and their families. Is there a way to apply logic to this issue and arrive at an intelligent solution?" Source:
  • In November 2014, Dr. Carson said, Lawless illegal immigration should not be rewarded by lawless executive action.... Also think about the fact that there are so many of our own people that are having a very difficult time finding jobs, making ends meet – this is not going to aid those people, this is actually going to make it more difficult for them. Is there ever going to come a time when maybe we think of our own people first?" Source:

Support overall reduction in annual immigration

End chain migration
  • We have not found any statements from Dr. Carson on ending Chain Migration. 

Protect against unfair work-visa competition
  • In January 2016 Dr. Carson released his immigration plan that said he would prioritize skilled immigrants who come to the U.S. to fulfill a specific job. “As president, I will also create a system of renewable work permits. The issuance of such permits would be dependent on a specific job with a specific employer. When it is time for the permit to be renewed and no job is available, the guest worker will have to leave…. As president, I will reprioritize the categories of legal immigrants we accept into this country, putting more emphasis on attracting the skillsets and resources the American economy needs while protecting American workers.” Source:

  • In a Nov. 2015 press conference Carson discussed the need for illegal aliens to keep and get jobs. “When you look at farming industries, I’ve talked to farmers with multi-thousands acres farms and they say their business would collapse, I’ve talked to hotel owners and they say that they would have a very difficult time without them,” he said. Source:
  • In June 2014, Dr. Carson spoke of having a steady, continuous flow of foreign workers, but also spoke of making sure American workers are protected: "A national guest-worker program makes sense and seems to work well in Canada. Noncitizens would have to apply for a guest-worker permit and have a guaranteed job awaiting them. Taxes would be paid at a rate commensurate with other U.S. workers and special visas would allow for easy entry and egress across borders. Guest-worker status would be granted to individuals and not to groups. People already here illegally could apply for guest-worker status from outside of the country. This means they would have to leave first. They should in no way be rewarded for having broken our laws, but if they are wise, they will arrange with their employer before they leave to immediately offer them a legal job as soon as their application is received. When they return, they still would not be U.S. citizens, but they would be legal, and they would be paying taxes. Only jobs that are vacant as a result of a lack of interest by American citizens should be eligible for the guest-worker program." Source:

End visa lottery
  • We have not found any statements from Dr. Carson on ending the Visa Lottery.