Tags: Exclusive Interviews | Immigration | MidPoint | Kirsten Kukowski | RNC | immigration | Cantor

RNC's Kukowski: We Still Need to Talk About Immigration Reform

By Sean Piccoli   |   Friday, 13 Jun 2014 08:58 PM

The political fall of a GOP leader who had backed immigration reform does not settle the question of how to secure the country's borders or deal with the estimated 11 million migrants living illegally inside the United States, Republican National Committee spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski told Newsmax TV on Friday.

"We need to have this conversation, Kukowski told "Midpoint" host Ed Berliner. She added, "There are several people, policymakers, on our side that have some ideas."

Two developments this week drove the immigration-reform-is-dead meme: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor losing in Virginia to a primary opponent who had hammered him as a promoter of amnesty for illegal immigrants; and border states struggling with a surge of undocumented Central American migrants — many of them children traveling alone.

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"Obviously, this is a big thing in the news in the Southwest, and it's a big thing across the country," Kukowski said. "It's a conversation we have to have, and the longer we go without having it, the worse that it's going to be.

"Status quo is not the answer — everyone is on that page," she said. "The status quo is not acceptable. The president is making decisions that are affecting people that are not the right decisions. So we all need to come to the table, and we need to have this conversation."

Kukowski also addressed the unfolding chaos in Iraq, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's support for the prisoner swap that sent five Taliban commanders to Qatar in exchange for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

In Iraq, said Kukowski, the president is guilty of "taking his eye off the ball" and "not paying attention to these issues that he told the American people he had under control" after U.S. troops ended their eight-year occupation of Iraq in 2011.

She also questioned Clinton's prediction that the former Taliban detainees pose little threat.

"If they aren't going to cause harm to other people, why did the Taliban want them back?" said Kukowski. "Why was that part of their negotiation?

"It's offensive to some people that the former secretary of state — someone who wants to be in the White House, somebody who spent a lot of years in the White House as the first lady — would say that to the American people with a straight face. I just don't think that that's realistic," said Kukowski.

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