by Jim Nintzel
Democrat Richard Carmona's campaign team is touting a new poll that shows the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate just 2 percentage points behind Congressman Jeff Flake, the GOP frontrunner. The Public Policy Polling survey showed that 43 percent of voters were supporting Flake, 41 percent were supporting Carmona and 16 percent were undecided. The Range talked with Carmona last week; previous excerpts from the interview can be found here and here.
You said President Obama’s order to not prosecute young people was are not in the country legally was “long overdue.”
I think it’s been politicized for too long. If you remember back a couple of years ago—four, five, six, I can’t remember—President Bush and Sen. Kennedy came together on this issue. They talked about a pathway to citizenship. And they introduced legislation in Congress. And quite frankly, Sen. McCain and Congressman Flake supported it. Now it’s not politically convenient to support it. But they got on board and they said, “Let’s do this.” Congress failed. And I think whether you agreed on the specifics, I just want to talk about the concept. You had two diametrically opposed politicians on almost every issue who came together in the spirit of democracy and said, “Let’s just solve the problem.” Let’s figure out a way that they pay a fine, get on line, and they earn the right to be citizens. But if they’ve been here working—why are they here? They're here because all of us have been letting folks in to do that, so if we’re going to hold them accountable, we should be holding ourselves accountable as well. So I thought that was really democracy in practice. And for those kids who are here and find out at age 18 that they don’t have papers? Why should we deport them and separate them from their families? Let them finish school. Help them go to college. Hope that they have the next great idea to add to a diversified workforce. So I’ve learned from my own experiences in life academically and, as you know, I’ve been a doctor and I’ve been a police officer on the border for more than a quarter-century. I’ve lived these problems every single day, with undocumented folks, with the COBRA laws, taking care of people, so I understand them. I understand the culture and I understand the language. So all of that came together in my life to help me understand that this should never be political currency. We should come together and solve the problem. That’s what’s important with the immigration issue.