July 17th, 2014
08:00 PM ET
4 years ago

Christie: N.J. may consider housing kids from southern border influx

(CNN) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie blamed the Obama administration for the influx of immigrant children at the southern border, but didn't rule out the prospect of accepting children in New Jersey on a case-by-case basis.

"I have great empathy for that situation, but frankly the administration has done an awful job in securing our border, and they need to do that," Christie told reporters in Marion, Iowa, where he campaigned for incumbent Gov. Terry Branstad.

"I don't think ... it matters one bit what your Hispanic population is, as to whether or not you're going to offer help and assistance," he continued. "So we'll take every request that comes based on its merits and make those decisions."

He stressed that he doesn't want to "participate in encouraging this," but added "we are an empathetic people in this country and we don't like seeing people suffer."

Christie's comments represent a departure from some governors, who have turned down requests from officials to house immigrants during the crisis.

Thousands of children from Central America, many unaccompanied, have streamed across the U.S. border with Mexico this year in what the administration calls an unexpected surge.

All sides agree that it’s become a humanitarian crisis with the federal government struggling to manage the influx.

President Barack Obama’s $3.7 billion emergency funding proposal to address the situation has been received coolly in Congress.

Christie, a potential White House contender, further fueled speculation about his 2016 ambitions with is visit to Iowa. There, he blasted the federal government for refusing to deal with immigration reform "in any meaningful way."

2016 hovers over Christie Iowa trip

While in the Hawkeye State, which holds the first nominating contest in presidential election years, Christie brushed off new poll numbers that indicate about a third of Iowans hold a negative opinion of him.

Christie comes under attack as he heads to Iowa

In March, Christie argued that "they love me in Iowa," saying his direct personality can translate to cultures outside of New Jersey. Asked Thursday if he thinks Iowans still like him, Christie said, “They do.”

“And every time I come here to Iowa I get a great sense of affection and respect from folks here. But, that doesn't mean that you're going to be universally loved,” he said. “And if you want to be universally loved in this business then you're the absolute poster boy for being ineffective.”

Filed under: 2016 • Chris Christie • Immigration • Iowa
soundoff (443 Responses)
  1. john

    And do what with them? Most are poorly educated and none speak English. So what's the plan Christie?

    July 18, 2014 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  2. Lindasue

    Feds are risking disease outbreaks sweeping the country by allowing these illegals to move to other states.


    July 18, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  3. H. A. Williams sr.

    Children are a gift from god and we should do any and everything in our power to make them happy.
    Governor Christie gonna be very very hard to be replace after he leaves office.very good man.

    July 18, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  4. me

    Hope you keep them in North Jersey because there are no jobs here in the south. South Jersey has lost a lot of refinery and higher paying manufacturer jobs. We can't work in NYC and Wall Street. Now the Casino's are closing too! Maybe your buddies at the Casino's will house all the immigrants for 6,000 a month per person. Is that what your going to do?

    July 18, 2014 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  5. Pure Gold

    Being a Republican Governor in a Democratic state allows Christie to do what most of the 2016 candidates cannot; show empathy and appeal to moderate Americans in a prelude to a 2016 run without alienating the people who elected him to his current office. This crisis is a gift for him and he is making the most of it.

    July 18, 2014 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  6. basedrum777

    Christy is a first rate bully and liar. He has done zero to improve my state and keeps doing anything he can to not point to the fact that we're 46th in job growth since the recession.

    July 18, 2014 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  7. Patrish

    Just think how much it will cost us for everything for these kids. I mean even now, they will need clothes shoes, beds, towels, and I'm betting health care. Even as a liberal, I have want them send back. No country can afford this. Sometimes you have to draw a line in the sand and this is one of those situations.

    July 18, 2014 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  8. daisy nazario

    I guess this states economy is not bad enough. Christie are you giving up your pay to support these kids.??

    July 18, 2014 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  9. LucyRicardo

    Karen Smith's comment said it best. And let's stop blaming everything on Mexico - these are not Mexican children and there is no proof that Mexico is enabling the transport of these children. We have to force the other countries who are neighbors to these troubled countries to accept some responsibility here and help resolve this. They should be taking these children in, not the U.S. If you look at it from a strictly pragmatic viewpoint and not an emotionally charged one, they would most likely be better off in one of those countries whose culture is closer to their own and they are closer to home, troubled though it may be.

    July 18, 2014 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  10. sly

    Gotta love all these white Italians, Irish and Germans who entered America illegally 120 years ago spewing all their hate towards today's political refugees.

    And only an Obese Fool like Christie would try to make a political circus out of it.

    Maybe if any Republicans actually cared, which none do, they'd follow Obama's suggestion and spend that $4 billion he offered. But no .. the Party of Dumb will do the same thing they did when Obama suggested 3 times to increase security at Benghazi: "We dont need to spend money on that Benghazi Embassy – dont worry everyone is safe there".

    July 18, 2014 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  11. Enough

    Why would you send them to that sewer of a state?

    July 18, 2014 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  12. ClaireM

    We are broke. How are we going to fund this? It is a horrible situation but we are not able to financially do this. I am sorry.

    July 18, 2014 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  13. ritmocojo

    No one ever said squat about planeloads of kids coming into the U.S. when the USSR and the Eastern Europe Communist Bloq countries were falling apart. In fact, we welcomed them with open arms. This reeks of racism.

    July 18, 2014 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  14. Doesn't make sense

    What are we "saving" these kids from? The only expense we should accept is a plane ticket and a bus ride to the capital of Mexico and front step of their president. They are Mexican civilians. Last I checked this is, drug cartel region aside, suppose to be a civilized, fairly successful and peaceful nation we openly trade and have relations with. If it's so horrible end relations and call the UN. And I'm being generous with the free ride.

    July 18, 2014 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  15. Jim McDonald

    Liberals being generous with other people's money.

    July 18, 2014 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  16. I like me

    Christy just looks to unhealthy.

    July 18, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  17. just saying

    H. A. Williams sr.
    Children are a gift from god and we should do any and everything in our power to make them happy.

    yes they are, gifts to their parents and they should be returned to their parents asap to ensure everybody's happiness.

    July 18, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  18. Say WHAT???

    'Secure the border'....Maybe a politician can say this again so I can puke. The issue is not the border, its the promise of employment by big corporations.

    What a total buffoon! What promises of employment are being made by big corporations to a bunch on children and uneducated people that don't speak English? Do you have any idea how dumb you sound?

    July 18, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  19. James

    Why isn't anyone considering the sheer amount of crime that will the result of these kids. When you have unskilled people they will commit crime. Come to Los Angeles which is the ground zero for illegal immigration, hispanic males are committing crimes every single day. Read the LA Times and see who almost all the crime is by hispanic males. We want immigrants but we want engineers and physicians and business owners not people who require tax payer support for life.

    July 18, 2014 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  20. chivana

    New Jersey,Washington DC,Martha's Vineyard,New York ,San Fransico,Chicago would be excellent choices for housing these children

    July 18, 2014 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  21. Jerome K

    Send them to Washington DC. Then maybe our "leaders" will feel what those in that region are feeling.

    July 18, 2014 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  22. Krisko ha

    God bless America!! The land of the opportunity .

    July 18, 2014 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  23. Freddie the Fez

    You have to chuckle at Governor Christie blasting the immigration situation, simply because you know that these poor folk from Honduras aren't telling their children that once they sneak into America, they need to make a bee line to Jersey.

    July 18, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  24. Dr. Obvious

    Thanks Christie! Please encourage more welfare filth that pays no taxes and commits most of the crime to come to New Jersey. We already have Camden, Salem County & most of northern part of the state that is garbage now.

    July 18, 2014 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  25. Kris

    I am in my lower 20s and i cannot find work or a place to live. And they want to help people out from 2500 miles away before they help us whos struggling in nj.

    July 18, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
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