Candidate Forum

September 24th, 2018

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Opening Statement

Good evening everyone; thank you for coming tonight. I’m Chuck Enderlin, and I’m the next congressman from Georgia’s 3rd Congressional District.

 

Now we as a nation are at a crossroads right now.  Our deficit is up to almost a trillion dollars. Health care costs continue to rise faster than inflation.  Middle class taxes are actually set to rise every single year. Corporate profits are up, but real wages are not keeping up and are actually falling.

 

Each day, hundreds enlist for a war that began before they were born.  And at the same time, veterans are coming home to a country that refuses to fulfill the obligation we owe them for fighting America’s battles.

 

High schoolers graduating next year will struggle to find a job that pays enough so they can to support themselves.  College students face taking on a mountains of debt in the hope of finding a career. Now we have great programs here in Coweta, like the Georgia CATT program, but even great programs like that can’t help everyone.

 

But we can build that brighter future.  In 43 days Georgians will go to the polls and vote on our direction.  For the first time in decades, voters in Georgia’s 3rd Congressional District can vote for a candidate who will fight for a living wage.  They can vote to build roads, bridges, and expand broadband internet to our rural communities They can vote to ensure our hospitals stay open, and that Americans can purchase Medicare.  They can vote to keep our promises to our veterans, ensuring that our VA is focused on providing that specialized care rather than selling it off to the lowest bidder.

 

We can’t do these things if we don’t come together, listen openly to each other, speak honestly, and find those points of agreement instead of putting up walls between us.  That’s the servant leadership I’ve practiced in my fifteen years in the United States Marine Corp. That’s exactly what I will do as your representative, but only if you vote for Chuck Enderlin for United States Congress.

 

Thank you.

ENDERLIN:

 

Growing up my parents taught my sister and I to work hard, and they taught us to help other people, and those values of service led me to want to join our nation’s military. I accepted an appointment to the Naval Academy, joined the class of 2003, and was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the United States Marine Corp. For 11 years I served on active duty, wherever my nation called, at home and abroad. I finished up my active duty career at NAS Meridian Mississippi teaching and training the next generation of naval aviators, not just on how to fly airplanes, but how to lead. I continue to serve in the Marine Reserves to this day, and that lifetime of service, and that experience at the federal level brings us the experience and the judgement that we need to make these tough decisions. The fact that I’m a Democrat in the military can give you some confidence that I know how to reach across the aisle to find those points of agreement and to find those solutions that bring us together. In the military we’re not concerned about where you’re from, what you do, what you think. We’re concerned about getting the right results and getting results that help everyone. That’s what I can do as a U.S. Congressman.

 

FERGUSON:

 

Sure. It wasn’t that long ago as I mentioned in my opening statements that our community had really fallen on hard times. We had watched bad decision in Washington D.C. really destroy our home town. And so we knew what it took to rebuild our community. And it really took reaching across the aisle. Most people don’t realize this, but I’m from a very blue city in a very red district. Our city is about 62% Democrat as the vote goes, maybe a little bit more now, and I was elected three times as mayor. What we learned during that experience is that you have got to reach across the aisle, you’ve got to be innovative, you have to be willing to listen, and one of the things I think has been really special about this experience in Congress is I have been able to take that spirit of cooperation to Congress, and most people don’t realize this, but this is the most bipartisan Congress in about the last 50 years, and most of the time when I say that to someone, they just shake their head and say, “I can’t believe that.” But of a record number of bills that have made it to the president’s desk to be signed, 68% of those bills are bipartisan. That’s a pretty remarkable number in this day and age, and we’ll continue to work because I know what it takes to reach across the line and be a productive member of Congress.



FERGUSON:

 

To the first part of your question: what are the prospects for the U.S. economy going forward… they are very, very strong. Fundamentally our economy is strong; we’re creating jobs and we are building momentum every single month with our gross domestic product. And that is a result, like I said, of making sure we have the right regulatory environment and making sure that we have the right tax environment. One of the things that we did with the tax code is we created an environment where business can make decisions on what’s right for its business and its employees and not provisions in the tax code, and we created fairness and we created the environment where this is the country to make investments. Going forward we know that one of the things that we have to do is continue to work on our trade environment. Look at what’s happened in recent weeks. We have a deal with Mexico. We’re on the verge of having one with Canada. And it looks like as of today, we have had some good news with our South Korean allies as well. And I believe that ultimately what we we’re going to do is we’re going to make our economy strong with the help of our partners so that we can go after the real threat to U.S. sovereignty which is the cheating by the Chinese.

 

ENDERLIN:

 

Mr. Ferguson, I agree that the U.S. economy does have a very bright future, because of the U.S. workers that we have, because of the labor force we have. We have a very highly skilled but, unfortunately, woefully underpaid labor force. Yes, unemployment is up, median household income grows to the highest levels ever–$61,000 dollars a year, according to the latest reports–and that’s because more people are working more hours. More people in each household are working, and that’s not how we build strong communities. If both parents are having to work 40-hour weeks just to make ends meet, that’s not giving them the time to care for their children or to be involved in their communities to help out. If you have someone that’s having to work 60 plus hours a week, working 2 minimum wage jobs just to stay out of poverty, that’s not honoring their dignity of their work. That’s just making sure they stay pushed down as little as they can. We need to raise our minimum wage to a living wage, but also some of the policies we need to change: we need to end the disastrous tariffs that are currently wrecking our economy. I just spoke to members of Eaton Light, headquartered in Peachtree City in Georgia’s 3rd congressional district. Due to the tariffs announced last week, they’re having to raise their prices again, the second time this year, and it’s directly as a result of the tariffs. If we remove those tariffs, we can actually bring our competitive environment back up and help the American workers.

 

FERGUSON:

 

Sure. The best way for growth to have growing wages is to have a growing economy. And just look at what’s happened in the last year. Wages are growing at the fastest rate that they have in well over a decade. And I will tell you this:  I’m proud that the president is doing the necessary things to level the playing field with trade. Unfortunately one of the only tools that we have to do that with is tariffs, but I am encouraged by the fact that the president left the G7 meeting with the statement that he would like to see a zero tariff trade envir with our partners. Truly what we need is we need access to markets. Our workers need access to countries’ economies that we don’t have now. It is not the time to buckle. It is the time to stay strong and finish the drill and make sure the United States comes out on top.

 

ENDERLIN:

 

Unfortunately wage growth is not keeping up with inflation–that means the purchasing power of the average American is going down each and every year. Tying the jobs act to chain CPI does not help the fact; it exacerbates the problem and makes it worse. Every American who is working hard and is faced with that trouble, and quite frankly lying to them about “Hey, your wages are great!”, isn’t going to fix it.



ENDERLIN:

 

It’s going to have a humongous effect. We’ve already been through this in 2007 and 2008 when our economy collapsed under that crushing debt that we had from everybody and from mortgage debt. We’re seeing that play out again. Mortgage debt is an all-time high. Student loan debt from 2008 has more than doubled. That is simply not sustainable. Now if we were to actually fix this and go back to it, the answer isn’t more tax cuts for the rich. If you’re having trouble paying your bills, you don’t get a lower paying job, you work harder and get that higher paying job. In U.S. Congress what we’ve got to do is ask the people at the very top to give up that third luxury vehicle, give up that vacation, and actually pay their fair share to society. I can promise you this, that as your U.S. congressmen not only will we bring the deficit down, but we will make sure that everyone making $400,000 or less actually keeps their taxes the same. We need to make those tax cuts from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act permanent, and the only way we reign in deficit spending is to elect people who don’t believe in it.

 

FERGUSON:

 

Listen, one of the things that I’m excited about being able to do when I go back to D.C. is to actually vote to make the middle class tax cuts permanent. That is something we are anticipating to vote on this week and it is something I will be proud to make, and I will tell you this: we could have gotten that done the very first time if we had had a few Democrats vote with us in the United States Senate. We did make it permanent in the house and we didn’t in the Senate. Not one single Democrat voted to give the American public a pay raise, and that is wrong. If you really want to get after deficit spending the real answer is is that we have to have an honest conversation as a nation about mandatory spending. Mandatory spend is Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, interest on the debt and all the welfare entitlement programs. If we do not have that honest conversation and we do not figure out a pathway forward on that, then we will 72% of our spending will grow to 78% in just a few years that mandatory spending will consume all federal spending. We have to have that honest conversation and I’m willing to do it.

 

ENDERLIN:

 

We can complain about how hard it is to pass legislation when you control both chambers of congress and the presidency but that’s not really the problem… if we want to talk about mandatory spending, Mr. Ferguson just approved the house fiscal year 2019 budget, which cuts social security by 4 billion dollar. It cuts medicaid by $1 1/2 trillion dollars, and it cuts medicare by $537 billion dollars. It takes our seniors, and instead of giving them the healthcare they have worked for and promised for, it makes them go onto the open market to find what they can and hope that the voucher from the government simply covers it. That’s not the way we fix this problem. That’s not what we do. And that’s not how we keep our promises to Americans.

 

FERGUSON:

 

I think that Mr. Eenderlin’s description of what happens in the budget process is completely wrong. I will tell you this, it is about having honest conversations about where we are with that. We have to fundamentally change what we are doing. We have to make sure that the promises that were made to our seniors are promises that are kept. But we need to have an honest conversation about my generation and future generations about what it means to work a little bit longer. What it means to be able to reform the system so that the people receiving those very meaning and earned benefits right now continue to do so and there is no cut. To simply stick your head in the sand and to say we’re going to continue to spend and not do anything with it guarantees that every single senior will take a pay cut in the very near future when Social Security runs out of money.



FERGUSON:

 

The number one thing that has to be changed is we have to make our middle class tax cuts permanent and also for the small business community. I’ll say it again, if we had just had Democrats vote with us on that bill we could have done just that. But unfortunately they stood on sideline and decided not to participate in that process. Going forward if we continue to refine our tax code, continue to work hard to make sure this is the most competitive place in the world to do business, we can stay ahead of other nations. We absolutely cannot wait thirty years to reform our tax code again. We must work on it every single year to remain competitive.

 

ENDERLIN:

 

Our leaders need to take responsibility for the things that they pass and the things that they don’t pass. If we couldn’t get the middle class tax cuts passed under your watch, that’s not the failure of the senate, that’s the failure of the people standing in front of you.

 

Let’s talk about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. There are a lot of terrible things in it. One, those tax cuts do expire. So by 2027 if you make less than $75,000 a year, which is the majority of American households, you are better off under the old law, not under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The tax bracket increases are tied to chain CPI; this is the concept that as prices go up, you’ll simply buy something cheaper. All this does is push people into a higher tax bracket than they would normally be in.  This is the main reason why Americans are seeing those stealth tax increases that we see every year. Like we just talked about, the Tax Cuts Act was nothing more than an excuse to go after Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. It is absolutely unconscionable that we can create a record high deficit and then say, “Oh, we have to go after entitlements now because of the law that we passed.”

 

FERGUSON:

 

Sure, I will go and say it again. This is the problem that we have when we start trying to have the honest conversation about Social Security and Medicare. One side stands up and uses it as a tool to go after the other. I’m telling ya, we have to have an honest conversation about it and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act did not go after Social Security. Matter of fact, it brought more people into the workforce to guarantee that we have more people to pay into the system to help bolster that important program. It is something we have to continue to fight for.

 

ENDERLIN:

 

Thank you. We want to have that honest conversation about Social Security. It’s real simple. If we get rid of the payroll tax cap, Social Security is secured for perpetuity. The only problem with that is we have to ask the members of the donor class to finally pay their fair share. That’s why it’s not being done. That’s why it will be done when we elect some Democrats to congress.



ENDERLIN:

 

Tariffs have proven historically to be a terrible tool for actually shaping trade war. We’re actually changing the trade balance that we have. What we’re seeing right now is that paying out. Like we said, Chinese imports of auto parts has been tariffed. The U.S. automotive industry is expecting 2 billion lost sales, 700,000 jobs lost. That’s not something that our economy can really sustain. They’re expecting the average cost of an automobile to go up $5800 and that’s because that’s exactly what tariffs do. They are a tax hike on the middle class. The national taxpayers foundation, a conservative think tank that is opposed to any taxation found that this current administration is responsible for the biggest tax increase on the middle class in our nation’s history and it is because of those tariffs. Tariffs have traditionally been the venue of the United States Congress. It is time that we elect members who are willing to be that co-equal branch, who are willing to stand up for Americans and are willing to stop these tariffs.

 

FERGUSON:

 

Fundamentally I am fundamentally opposed to increases on tariffs. I like free trade and I will tell you this: the lesson I have learned growing up in a community that lost its job in manufacturing base to Mexico when the textile industry moved away to see our community completely rebuilt once again with advanced manufacturing automotive know this: we have to do things well here first. We have to have the right regulatory environment, the right tax environment,, and we have to develop our workforce. If those things are right then the trade deal is the icing on the cake. I will tell you that ultimately I think we get to the point with our trading partners both here in North America and Europe and the Pacific Rim then we will be able to ban together and we will be able to reduce tariffs across the board and we will be able to stand strong against China. China continues to cheat, steal our intellectual property, and long term that is bad for the American worker, bad for this economy, and we will stand strong to make sure that America continues to thrive.

 

ENDERLIN:

 

If we continue this tax hike on the American middle class, we won’t have a chance of standing up to China. Our economy thrives when Americans are out there and have the disposal income to buy American-made goods. That is impossible to achieve when we are constantly adding 10%, then another 5%, then 3% to the price they pay for goods. These tariffs are paid by consumers. That’s it. The money is not coming from China. It is coming from American pockets. It is coming from American factories that are closing down, and it is coming from American jobs that are being lost.

 

FERGUSON:

 

Once again, I think that is time to stand strong. All too often elected official buckle at first signs of pressure. That is one of the reasons why our trade deals are so bad and we have seen too many American jobs over the past 2 or 3 decades leave our shores for other areas. Keep in mind that a combination of a growing economy the right tax code improved workforce, making us competitive. This is the right time to stand up for America.



FERGUSON:

 

First of all, the Affordable Care Act is anything but affordable. Since its implementation we have seen premiums skyrocket and it has hit middle class families the hardest, especially those small business owners. Keep in mind, as we go through this conversation–most every american, over 70%–receive their insurance through an employer-based plan. And I will tell you as this conversation moves along, and we talk about Medicare for all what we’re talkin about is robbing you of your right to have your plan come through your employer, and then we’re going to put you on a government-run plan. We’re going to take a Medicare plan that is quite candidly been paid into by our seniors, and you’re going to dilute it by giving it to everyone else. I don’t think that’s a smart move. The biggest fear I have with the ACA is right now is the vertical integration of our healthcare system. You now have pharmacies being owned by pharmacy benefit managers. Those are being owned now by insurance companies, the hospitals next, and the providers are after that. That will completely eliminate the patient’s choice and the right to choose the doctor that they want to go to.

 

ENDERLIN:

 

Well Mr. Ferguson has accurately described what happens in the private sector in the absence of regulation where corporations try to streamline and vertically integrate. That’s not the solution that were going to have to have if were going to help our healthcare problems. I want to talk about a friend of mine for a second. Her name is Heather Snell. She moved down here to Newnan to care for her family. When she moved counties she lost her health insurance because she voluntarily gave it up. She had to change her heart doctor.  She has a congenital heart condition. Without the Affordable Care Act she couldn’t have been able to find the help she needed. She wouldn’t have been able to get on a new a plan. Because when she lost hers, her preexisting condition would have kept her off future plans. I’m not talking about Medicare for All, Drew. If you actually studied and listened to us, you would find out that I’m talking about a Medicare buy-in. You’re worried about people not being able to keep their healthcare plans. They would be able to. They’ll just have the option to take Medicare and purchase into it at the per capita rate. We could even make it budget positive and put a little cap on top of it if it helps satisfy the Republicans in Congress. But a Medicare public option gives people a chance to buy healthcare they can use and healthcare they can afford–healthcare they can take with them across state lines–and it allows the open market to find those efficiencies, and it encourages other healthcare providers to do the same.

 

FERGUSON:

 

I will tell you that the vertical integration of the healthcare system, making it bigger, is not the right thing to do. I put a hand on a patient every day for 25 years. I care for people across all backgrounds. Every one of us has a family member that has been touched by a chronic disease that is expensive to care for. There are many other ways to do this, but we have to remember, this country has become confused between healthcare, health insurance and health benefits. And I think that we can find the right balance–but to me, putting more dollars into a government-run system is not the way to do it.

 

ENDERLIN:

 

Healthcare costs continue to expand that you can’t get healthcare without good health insurance. Now we talked about government plans. I had one of those for several years, it was called tricare. It was the best healthcare plan i could ever ask for. I showed up to a hospital, showed them an ID card, and I was good. I had several times when my wife called me and said, “Hey, before we take our kids to school you need to take me to the ER.” I had security and comfort through that great health insurance that surprisingly was from the govt. If we take a look and if we act smartly. If we take the lessons that we have, we can model it after Tricare, we can model it after medicare. We can change the name if you want, but there is a solution out there.  We just have to be willing to actually implement it.



ENDERLIN

 

The opioid crisis comes from two things: we need better healthcare. We’ve talked about our ideas for how we can improve healthcare for Americans. But the other thing we have to do is we have to look at drug addiction as an addiction and not a crime. That is the very first step for the victims. We have to make sure that victims are willing and able to come out and get help and not feel any shame for it. To not be ostracized for it and to not face punishment for it. If they are seeking help, we need to help them do that. And the second thing we have to do is we have to go after these pharmaceutical companies. We have to go after them for providing these opioids. For encouraging doctors to over prescribe them. That’s going to come through government action. That’s the only way we can do it. That’s what we’ve got to do to fix this.

 

FERGUSON:

 

In a bipartisan way this year, congress passed over 53 pieces of leg dealing with americans opioid cruisin, dealing with everything from new treatment options, dealing with addiction to the mental health side of it and making sure our fellow Americans are able to come back into society as full members when they recover from this terrible disease. Addiction is a terrible terrible thing sand it touches way too many families. Almost every single family I know has somebody who has been through this. We must act with compassion and we must act in a very very quick way. Unfortunately this country has way too many, way too many young people that become addicted, way too many old people that become addicted, and it is destroying the fabric of our community. But another area that we have got to stay strong on is we have got to secure our southern border to make sure that the opioid traffic does not continue to flow freely across that southern border.

 

ENDERLIN:

 

The opioids come from American producers. They are prescribed by American doctors, they are provided by American healthcare plans.  If we want to be able to tackle this problem, we have to look at the man in the mirror and we have to start right here at home. We cannot simply blame other countries for the problems we face. We have to be willing to tackle them head on. That is what I have done my entire career as a military officer, that is what I’ll do in Congress.

 

FERGUSON:

 

I would say that many providers are doing exactly what Mr. Enderlin suggested which is to look in the mirror and find new ways to prescribe. I know I did it as a provider and did it successfully. But I will tell you we have droves coming across that southern border every single day. The amount of fentanyl that comes across that southern border is enough to kill almost 300 million Americans every single year. Think about that.  We have to stop. It’s not just the pharmaceutical companies that are here. It’s shortsighted only to blame what’s here in America. That is part of the problem but we have to be realistic to say that it is coming from other places around the world, and we must fight to stop that.



FERGUSON:

 

Well, first of all we do have many areas of this country that have crumbling infrastructure, and the biggest challenge is paying for that. And I will tell you that the highway trust fund runs out in the next few year, and again we have got to have a honest conversation about how we are going to fund that going forward. We simply cannot continue to fund it out of general fund because we cannot keep the promises we have made to our veterans, we can’t continue to fund opioid treatments, and fund medicare, and educate our children, and do all the things that we need to do if we have to fund out of the general fund. But let me say this, one of the things I  am most passionate about is making sure that every single family in the state of Georgia has access to good broadband, every single community. We can no longer count on traditional economic development to go out and chase manufacturing for every single county in Georgia. We need a unique plan that ties broadband to the school system to the education curriculum and we need to be able to connect our young people in our rural districts to economic hubs in our cities. I think if we do this smartly than we can accomplish this nationwide, but especially right here in the state of Georgia.

 

ENDERLIN:

 

Mr. Ferguson and I are in complete agreement on the importance of broadband internet and the need to bring it in. We need to tie it to our schools. We need to tie it to our communities. We need to make sure that that last mile of fiber is laid everywhere. When I travel down to counties like Upson County and visit Thomaston, their economic growth is held back because of that lack of broadband internet. But it’s not going to happen just because we give Comcast some tax breaks and hope that they build it. It’s going to happen when we, the American people, say, “Hey, here’s some shovels. Here’s some machinery. Here’s some fiber, lets go lay it. Were going to pay you $15 an hour.” We used to go out and do this. And we’re going to make this happen. When we’re done laying that fiber, we can give it to the communities to make sure that it’s not simply profiteered off and leaching out of the people that need it so badly. If it’s publicly owned, the communities can use it. They can use it to build their economies and bring everyone else up. It’s not that complicated. It just requires the will to do it.

 

FERGUSON:

 

For way too long we’ve made the access to broadband about subsidizing the provider or either the end user. That has got to stop and we’ve got to treat broadband as critical infrastructure. As a mayor we made strategic public investments in water lines, sewer lines, gas lines, and roads to create jobs to create economic opportunities. It is time that we take that same approach on broadband and to make sure that we do everything that we can both at the federal at the state and at the local level to create that synergy to make this happen, and I think that we can do that.

 

ENDERLIN:

 

We’ve had a congressman on the transportation and infrastructure committee for two years. We still don’t have shovels going into grounds in counties like Upson County. That will change. I promise you you will not wait two years when I’m your congressman.



ENDERLIN:

 

So the proper role in setting federal education policy is really simple. We set the minimum guidelines that guide the country. Because let’s face it, we are one nation, we aren’t just a loose collection of states. When people enlist in the military, they don’t join the Arkansas militia or the Mississippi militia. They join the United States Army, the United States Marine Corp. We need to make sure that an education, whether it’s from California, New York, Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama, counts the same and is worth the same everywhere we go. The second thing the federal government can do to help with that is we can help those states that are struggling with funding to help bring their teachers in. We can help not just with direct teacher pay raises, but we can help with loan forgiveness programs. Becoming a teacher requires at least 4 years in public education. This saddles our teachers with debt and in many states, they don’t earn enough to be able to really pay it off. If we as a federal government allow the teachers who are working in those public schools to have their loans forgiven we can solve our teacher crisis and we can improve education throughout the country.

 

FERGUSON:

 

The more you see the federal government  involved in education and dictating to every single state and every single school district the way they have to do it, the more you begin to see failure and that’s what we’ve seen. I am so proud of the work that’s been done right here in the state of Georgia and particularly in communities like Coweta with the CEC. We have to allow flexibility and we also have to recognize that not every kid has to go to college. I’ll tell you what,  I’ve got 4 children–very different backgrounds, all of them very very bright. And I will tell you they will all take very different paths to success. And one of the things that we have got to do is provide enough flexibility to make sure that states and local communities can develop education systems to fit the needs of their growing economies. One of the most striking things to me about Congress is how different our nation is based on regions. Yes, we are one nation. But the way the one thinks about things is different from the Southeast and the way we think about in the Southeast surely isn’t like California. We have to be able to account for that flexibility and to make sure that local communities have control over their education so that they can meet the needs of their growing economies.

 

ENDERLIN:

 

Local communities do have control of their education. When I talk with teachers and when I talk with students it’s frustrating because there’s not a lot the federal government can really do to influence those. I don’t want people from West Virginia telling us how to run the Georgia schools my children go to and I’m sure the people from West Virginia don’t want me doing the same thing for them. But what we can do is lay the foundation. We can help out. We can give the resources they need to succeed, and most importantly, like I said, we can make sure that every education, everywhere, that high school graduate is just as equipped for a job anywhere in the country regardless of where they graduated.

 

FERGUSON:

 

No rebuttal.



FERGUSON:

 

I will tell you of all the things I’ve seen in Congress, maybe even including healthcare, this is the most divisive issues in our country and I will tell you what I think one of the reasons: we have a conversation about illegal immigration and legal immigration. And one of the probs we got right now is we are having a very visceral debate on two sides. One is secure our southern border to stop illegal immigration. And what do we do with the young men and women who were brought here by their parents through no fault of their own who have been raised in America and have never been back to their country of origin. Those are two visceral issues. And if you ask the DACA kids what they want, the list is long. If you ask them what they’ve got to have is to end the fear of deportation. I think if we can secure our southern border, we can end the fear of deportation for the DACA kids, then we can begin to have a real honest conversation about legal immigration in the middle. We have to have a strong guest worker program. Talk to any business around his country, and they will tell you they need workers from around the world to fill jobs that Americans simply are not equipped to or won’t take.

 

ENDERLIN:

 

Unfortunately the reality is that the largest source of illegal immigration is people who overstay their greencards and their visas. But it’s a divisive issue in Congress because it comes down to the heart of who we are. It comes down to the heart of who we see as people, and more importantly who we see as Americans. My family immigrated here I think in the early 1900s. We don’t really have any good records. Best I can figure we came over from Germany during a period where they were executing Catholics for being Catholic. I have no idea how we got here. I have no idea how they moved to Arkansas. But all I know is that through hard work and through that American spirit they accepted the values we have in America. They work hard. They love their neighbors, and that’s the kind of values we have to bring in. If we want to talk about the DACA children, we’ve already answered that second visceral question about what we do with those people who have been here and are working hard. The Trump administration’s answer and the answer supported by Congress is to kick them out. The United States military veterans who have served their country in Afghanistan who have fought and bled on the fields of Iraq are being deported because they lack the proper documentation or because they were brought here as children. That’s not compassionate. That’s not humane. That’s not American. And that’s something we could have stopped if Congress was willing to do it.

 

FERGUSON:

 

I’ll tell you what’s inhumane and not right, and that is to allow people that want to do us harm to continue to come across this border. We as Americans can absolutely recognize the diversity and the good things that come from people around the country coming to become American citizens the right way, the legal way, and participating in our economy and making our lives better. But what we can no longer continue to do is to have people come across this border and join gangs that are involved in human trafficking and are involved in the opioid addiction and that the number of terrorist have caught every single day at the border. It is absolutely unamerican not to defend ourselves against the people that want to do us harm.

 

ENDERLIN:

 

We can defend our borders, and we can maintain our humanity and our compassion. That’s what we have to do to be America. When people come across the border in this country, they usually don’t know how the immigration system works. We don’t actually have schools set up in Mexico or Nicaragua so that people can learn “here’s how to follow the American immigration system”. If you want people to prioritize legal immigration..when we find them, when we catch them and bring them in, see where they’re going to go work, see where they’re going to get their greencards. Because the majority of people coming to this country are coming because they want to build a better life for themselves. They want to build a better life for their children. And if we welcome them, they not only build a better life, but we build a better country.



Committee to Elect Chuck Enderlin
P.O. Box 1174 Newnan, GA 30264
470-400-5920
staff@chuckenderlin.com