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. NavyVet

    hypocrites the whole lot....looking for that hispanic vote

    July 18, 2014 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  2. CW

    Send them to this RINO then. Those of us on the southern border are overwhelmed and don't even recognize our communities anymore (and I am only 35). It is time to spread the misery to the blue and purple states.

    July 18, 2014 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  3. Melvin

    Send the immigrants to DC: They love them so much; let them take care of them.

    July 18, 2014 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  4. warthog6

    Immigration is about children, so flood our schools with diseased gangs who sell drugs, behead snitches, and rape kids or else you hate children.

    You don't hate children...

    ...do you?

    July 18, 2014 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  5. Unstunned

    The compassion is just oozing from him. I wonder what the qualifications are in his case by case reaching out the hand of compassion. It might open the floodgates of Hispanics running into New Jersey! So strengthen your boarders first Christie, then reach out your hand of help to a couple of plane loads of children. I really don't think you will be encouraging anything but maybe being a better model of human then we have seen so far.

    July 18, 2014 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  6. timothy

    There is a reason this is happening. Things do not happen 'by accident', lack of luck or 'just because'. There is a reason and you and I are not privy to it because people wish s to grant them power over you and I. Personally, I see this as starting a brush fire to clear land of grasses and debris in the fields when that gust of wind blows it uncontrollably into the forest where it takes on that, "Oh S..." life of its' own. Welcome to USA honesty, transparency and powergrab gone...."Oh S..."

    July 18, 2014 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  7. Name

    That is so cruel to say about kids

    July 18, 2014 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  8. ug

    Shoot all illegal aliens on sight.

    July 18, 2014 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  9. Mary

    This is just a slap in the face to my parents and anyone else who came here LEGALLY! My parents fled a war in Europe with 3 small children and came to the U.S. LEGALLY!!! They were given 1 month's rent and $50. They didn't get everything handed to them. My father worked 3 jobs while my mother stayed with my siblings AND THEY HAD TO LEARN ENGLISH!

    July 18, 2014 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  10. carolanee

    We need to realize that some funny business is going on here.

    July 18, 2014 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  11. DB

    If you're blaming this crisis on "a lack of border security," then you are either A) A politician or political commentator lying to ignorant people, or B) The ignorant people Group A are lying to. And if you're in Group B, Group A is laughing at you behind your back.

    If we weren't "securing the border," we wouldn't be arresting these people and our detention centers wouldn't be overflowing with them. THAT'S THE POINT. If we weren't "securing the border," we'd be looking the other way and letting them come without arresting them, and this whole issue of where to hold them wouldn't exist.

    July 18, 2014 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    " Those of us on the southern border are overwhelmed and don't even recognize our communities anymore (and I am only 35). It is time to spread the misery to the blue and purple states."

    Last time I looked, New Jersey is teeming with illegals from South of the border, ignoramus.

    July 18, 2014 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  13. Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

    " Those of us on the southern border are overwhelmed and don't even recognize our communities anymore (and I am only 35). It is time to spread the misery to the blue and purple states."

    New Jersey already has one of the highest populations of illegal immigrants, ignoramus.

    July 18, 2014 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  14. Ken Zmyslo

    House as many of these children in LA, NYC, Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington DC. These large cities have the infrastructure necessary for these immigrants to find a better life in America, and the population size necessary for these immigrants to have minimal impact on the social system. Chicago, LA, and NYC with populations in the millions can easily absorb a hundred thousand spread across those three big cities.

    July 18, 2014 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  15. jkiddkilah

    Send them back and put that $3.7 billion to hire more border patrol agents and more check points.

    July 18, 2014 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  16. MADDOC13

    Those poor kids. Haven't they been through enough without sending them to New Jersey!

    July 18, 2014 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  17. getajobhippies

    This headline is incorrect. Immigrant kids, with their parents, can live in any state they want. ILLEGAL Immigrant kids, which is what the story is about, need to go back to the country they came from.

    July 18, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  18. Thomas Carlisle

    This is politics. As I drive around Union Beach this morning, over 2.5 years after Sandy, with few homes and businesses being rebuilt, and those that are it is at the homeowners expense and/or volunteer labor. No one can account for how Christie allocated Sandy aid, but not many from the Jersey Shore have seen any aid - except Seaside and other areas where most damage was to secondary residences or rentals. The last thing NJ needs is to absorb Obama's problem, and the only reason Christie would do this is to score quick wins in public perception whilst deferring inquiries into how Sandy money was spent. We need to finish taking care of our own. American born, tax paying, middle class workers upon whose breaking backs this state - and this country - was built.

    July 18, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  19. Phil in KC

    Why not? There are already so many immigrants inside the 287 corridor, they'll never notice the difference.
    Nice grab for the Hispanic vote, btw.

    July 18, 2014 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  20. Bill

    60-80% or more of gang members are illegal aliens.
    80% or more of ALL violent crime in the US is committed by gang members.

    Secure the border, reduce violent crime by 50%.

    July 18, 2014 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  21. Guest

    Send them back to their MAMAS. That is the only right thing to do.

    July 18, 2014 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  22. Ellen in CA

    It is really interesting to watch thousands and thousands of illegal immigrants march into this country. They immediately begin to demand their "rights". If you don't believe this, you haven't been paying attention to what has happened in California. Since the stupid federal ruling in 1986 giving amnesty to the reported "three million" illegals, the floodgates were opened and now the federal government cannot control the disastrous results of their own making.

    July 18, 2014 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  23. Lex

    Hey Governor Gridlock, put down the crispy cream and stop brown nosing for votes. It's bad enough you give your cronies raises while trying to steal pension money.

    July 18, 2014 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  24. Barry G.

    What if the bridge is closed?

    July 18, 2014 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  25. surfy6

    Another political wannabe spouting off trying to garner attention, to further his personal political and financial future.when in fact he can barely run New Jersey.

    July 18, 2014 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
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