Jeremy Taylor, candidate for Iowa’s Fourth Congressional District, responded to JD Scholten’s photo-op tour of El Paso to visit the southern border:
“JD Scholten took a trip to El Paso and declared that ‘funding a border wall doesn’t better secure our nation.’ JD Scholten is wrong and naive on illegal immigration.
“As a county supervisor in the 4th Congressional District’s largest county, I help oversee the criminal justice budget. The cost of illegal immigration right here in Woodbury County alone is immense. County governments are reimbursed by the federal government approximately $70 per day to house illegal immigrants, and according to ICE, there are over 52,000 detainees, approximately half of whom have committed crimes beyond the crime of entering our country illegally. We have received numbers that show nearly twice that many illegal immigrants are waiting for detention space in the Northern District alone. American taxpayers for 52,000 detainees would pay $3.64 million each day – $1.32 billion annually – to reimburse local governments that are housing illegal immigrants. The need for incarceration facilities greatly outstrips the number of detainees as current facilities like ours simply do not have capacity.
“JD Scholten is wrong. We must build the wall. We must secure the border. American taxpayers can’t afford the cost of illegal immigration, and the effects are being felt right here in Iowa. Instead of taking a photo-op tour of El Paso, JD Scholten should visit the men and women right here in Iowa who deal with the illegal immigration crisis every day. And he should answer to the taxpayers who are asking how much more illegal immigration will we have to pay for before we build the wall and secure the border.
“My wife is a legal immigrant, a naturalized American citizen. She followed the law to come here. My great grandparents from Italy came through Ellis Island. I believe that America is the land of opportunity. I believe that we should welcome those who seek to become American citizens. But they must come here legally.”