Kingsport Times-News: Black backs Trump's border policy

Black backs Trump's border policy

Hank Hayes • Jun 26, 2018 at 11:30 AM

BRISTOL, Va. – Tennessee GOP gubernatorial candidate Diane Black said Monday she backs President Trump’s border policy that ended separating children from their parents but still prosecutes them for the crime of improper entry.

“I support the president securing the border, absolutely, I support building the wall,” Black, a member of Congress and former Tennessee state senator, said before speaking to a group of Republican women at the Euclid Avenue Food City. “This has been something that three previous presidents have declared needed to be done and said they would do it. … I support President Trump because he said he would and he’s doing it.”

Black talked about her background as a registered nurse who got into state politics when she didn’t like what she saw going on with TennCare, the state’s Medicaid program.

“I thought, I cannot sit by and do nothing,” she told the group.

As a congressman, she chaired the House Budget Committee that helped pass Trump’s tax reform package.

“I want to be back here and serve my state,” Black said of why she is running for governor. The three things that have happened in Congress on her watch, she said, are getting the federal budget under control, passing tax reform and winding down Obamacare.

As governor, Black said she wants to address the opioid crisis, help out rural Tennessee with new broadband and roads, and expand technical school opportunities.

Black also addressed the following questions:

Will Congress get anything done on immigration?

“They’re still working on it and trying to get the agreement between those that are more conservative and moderate because it’s not easy to do with two groups that have different ideas … but something has to get done and we need to move forward on securing the border.  … The things most important to me are we verifying everyone coming into the country, are they here legally? I support changing chain migration so they can come here on merit, not just because you are related to someone, and the Visa Lottery Program has got to stop. We need to make sure people are here for the right reason. It’s dangerous when you have people coming into your country and you don’t know who they are, why they are coming here and how long they are going to stay and what they are going to do while they are here. The number one goal of government is to keep people safe.”

What should the governor’s role be in enforcing illegal immigration?

“It’s an enforcement on my borders because Tennessee needs to stay strong. I need to keep people safe in my own state. Things like the refugee resettlement program, that’s been outsourced. I want to bring that back in so that my office and the president are looking at safety and the refugees coming into our state.”

Black is in a GOP Primary battle with Knoxville businessman Randy Boyd, House Speaker Beth Harwell and Williamson County businessman Bill Lee to be on the ballot for the November General Election.

Black has the endorsement of former Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, the National Rifle Association and National Right To Life.

Black insisted she’s leading and wants to stay there.

“I’m going to do everything I need to do to let this great state know who I am,” she said. “I’m listening to them and I’m going to respond to the people I represent.”

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