Conservative columnist George Will stunned "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace when he said that the thousands of children who have entered the United States illegally should be welcomed to America with open arms.
"My view is that we have to say to these children, 'Welcome to America. You're going to go to school and get a job and become Americans,'" Will said.
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Will said the country has plenty of space to accommodate the 57,000 children who have flooded across the border since October last year, most of whom are from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
"We have 3,141 counties in this country," he said. "That would be 20 per county. The idea that we can't assimilate these 8-year-old criminals with their teddy bears is preposterous."
Wallace struggled to come up with a response to Will's comments, although the host interjected that the conservative pundit was likely to face a deluge of emails attacking his opinion, according to The Blaze.
"We can handle this problem," Will said. "We've handled what Emma Lazarus famously called 'the wretched refuse of your teeming shores' a long time ago, and it was a lot more people than this."
The columnist said that in the long-term, the United States must help stop the violence and poverty in Central American nations leading to the migrant surge by increasing trade and economic opportunities with the region.
"The most effective legislation passed concerning immigration wasn't an immigration bill at all," Will said. "It was Bill Clinton's greatest act, passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement, that put North Americans on the path to prosperity."
"We need to do something similar for the countries in which these children are fleeing," Will said, adding that the United States must also do something to prevent Americans from "consuming so much of the drugs that are imported from these countries."
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