Washington: Describing the current U.S. immigration system as "completely backwards", Indian-American Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal said the country needs a system of "high walls and a broad gate".
"What I mean by that is we make it very difficult for people to come here legally. We make it very easy for people to come here illegally. As the son of immigrants, I think that, certainly, a lot of people think we should let more people come in to our country because it's compassionate for them, and it certainly is," said the 42-year-old Republican leader whose parents were immigrants from Punjab.
"I think we should also let more people come into our country legally because it's good for us. When people want to come here, work hard, get an education, play by the rules, that's good for America. And so, I think that this is a problem we can address. I think our system right now is completely backwards," he said.Jindal argued that Republicans need to act. "I do think its right to say we need to secure the border first. I think if the president had been serious about this the last five years; we'd be further along in this discussion. I think the American people are compassionate," he said.
"I don't think we're the kind of people that are going to kick people out of schools or hospitals or punish kids for what their parents have done. But I think it's also right the American people are sceptical," he said.
"There's broad agreement on letting people work here and contribute to our economy if they learn the language, they pay a fine, they go pass a criminal background check. I think there's broad consensus," he said.
"We have got to reform the ways that people come here legally. We need to increase dramatically the opportunities for people to come into our country legally. Again, it's good for them, but it's also good for our country," Jindal said.