The United States should impose substantial economic sanctions against Mexico until its government releases jailed U.S. Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, Dr. Ben Carson says.
"I would demand he come back and if they don't send him back, I would use our trade agreements against them,'' Carson told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"I would do things to hurt them economically. I would turn the screws. I mean they would be hurting.''
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Tahmooressi, who served two tours in Afghanistan, has been languishing in a Mexican jail for three months following his arrest on weapons charges. His family says he entered Mexico by mistake having made a wrong turn in his truck, which contained licensed firearms and ammunition.
Mexican authorities have so far ignored pleas for the release of Tahmooressi, who reportedly suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. A petition on the White House website asking the administration to intervene has gathered more than 123,000 signatures.
"When they humiliate one of our soldiers, they humiliate us as a nation. They say, 'we have no respect for you,''' said Carson, who is angered that the White House has not demanded action.
"It's like they're thumbing their nose at us and that we don't do anything about that is an insult.''
Carson — the former chief of pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and a potential GOP candidate for president in 2016 — said countries whose children are crossing the border into the United States en masse, such as Mexico, must help the U.S. put a stop to it.
"If they are not allied with us in terms of stopping [it], that makes them adversarial to us,'' Carson said.
"And if that's the case … we should make known to them that there are consequences for being our adversaries. That's a fairly simple thing to do and then also, we should not integrate those children into our society.
"When they come, they need to be held and retained until we can find a place to send them. I’m a compassionate person. I spent my whole life helping children, but at some point you have to recognize that you have to deal with your own wounds first.''
On the subject of former IRS official Lois Lerner — whose emails pertaining to her alleged targeting of conservative groups have reportedly been lost — Carson is incensed. And he doesn't believe it.
"The worst thing about it is is that it's making a mockery of honesty in government and that has severe implications,'' he said.
"As far as I'm concerned, this is not a Democrat or a Republican issue. This is an issue of the integrity of our government and our system. Everyone should be outraged.''
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