LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)— The race for who will take Congressman Todd Rokita's place is underway. Seven candidates vying for the chance to take over the role went head to head in a debate at Lafayette's Faith Community Center, Saturday.
A lot of ground was covered during the two hour long debate, including what should be done to tackle the nation's immigration issue.
Tim Radice and Diego Morales are both immigrants.
"It needs to be about this country and this nation, Mexico has better border enforcement and better immigration laws than the United States," said Radice.
"Yes we need to give the opportunity to our men and women who are here looking for jobs but we are going to do it the right way by respecting the rule of law," said Morales.
The two agree, people need to be held accountable. Jared Thomas doesn't argue, saying a clear pathway to citizenship needs to be established.
"It's this balance of uprooting people who have known no other life, versus making sure American citizens aren't footing the bill for those who have come here illegally," said Thomas.
Candidates Jim Baird and Steve Braun share similar viewpoints on the topic. The two brought up chain migration and lottery migration.
"We need to be much more strategic, we need to fix the current system that is fundamentally broken, no chain migration, no lottery migration," said Braun.
"This idea of advance your way to citizenship just based on a lottery, I think that needs to be eliminated," said Baird.
In discussing stricter border security and immigration, the topic of DACA and the 'Dreamers' was also brought up.
James Nease focused on green cards specifically.
"We're just going to go ahead and pass you to the next year's program and at that point they would be leaglized citizens and naturalized at that point,"suggested Nease.
Kevin Grant doesn't think people who came here by no fault of their own should be punished.
"I would support something along those lines as long as the individuals are productive members of society," Grant stated in reference to the Dreamers.
However, he wants clear steps to obtaining citizenship in place.
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