2012 Election

Koster: Noncitizen Immigrants "Go Home"

By Erica C. Barnett September 25, 2012

In a live webcast of the Seattle Times editorial board meeting frequently interrupted by obnoxious, EXTREMELY LOUD ads for action movies and upcoming TV sitcoms, Republican U.S. 1st District Congressional candidate John Koster doubled down on his unfortunate suggestion that immigrant farm workers should, like cattle, be tagged with bar codes to make sure they aren't working illegally or sneaking away from the fields ("If we can track cattle with chips, we can certainly provide a way for citizens to go through a process to be legal in this country"), arguing again that immigrant workers should be equipped with electronic bar codes that farmers could scan with their smartphones to make sure they're in the country legally. (Never mind that Washington state is losing much of its apple harvest due to a shortage of workers.)

Asked about illegal immigration and the DREAM Act, which would allow children of undocumented immigrants born outside the country but brought here at a young age to remain in the US under certain circumstances, Koster appeared nervous, laughing uncomfortably, saying, "You've got me off track here," and finally responding with a self-contradiction: "I think for kids who have come here illegally ... I think they should become citizens when they become 18 years of age," Koster said. So does he support the DREAM Act? "If they're born here, they are [citizens] by birth, but I think their parents should create a path to become citizens of the U.S. I think for those children, we should make a path for them to become citizens. Otherwise, they should go home."

Koster, who was debating his Democratic opponent, Suzan DelBene, also said he opposed inheritance taxes (an issue near and dear to the heart of Times editorial director Frank Blethen, supports keeping the Bush tax cuts for the very wealthy (those making more than $250,000 a year), opposes R-74, the marriage-equality measure, and opposes Obama's Affordable Care Act.
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