Kasich on immigrant detention: It doesn't make any sense

Hector Salamanca Arroyo on December 18, 2015
Governor Kasich was asked about the immigrant detention mandate in Ankeny, Iowa. He responded the immigrant detention mandate made no sense to him, but still needed more information before making his decision to call an end to it.

Katherine and I attended Governor John Kasich’s event in Ankeny Iowa, arriving early enough to get seats relatively close to where he would speak. After not appearing when his announcer first introduced him, Kasich casually strolled down the row of chairs and took center stage. Kasich quickly transitioned to taking questions from the audience and I was one of the first hands up. He repeatedly did not call on me, and I noticed how he was calling every individual around me. Realizing how Governor Kasich was refusing to call on me, Katherine raised her hand and was promptly selected by Kasich. Governor Kasich was surprised when Katherine handed off her turn to me, an opportunity we had been waiting for.

I began asking him, “I have read reports saying you don’t actually answer the question regarding the immigrant detention mandate. 34,000 immigrants are being detained each day, a part of the Appropriations…” Governor Kasich interrupted me stating, “I just read about this.”

He continued, “I didn’t know about this, but I didn’t avoid answering the question. I’m not going to answer a question if I don’t have the facts right. This seems as though this is a program that doesn’t make a lot of sense. Now I’ve only ready one part (I tried to interrupt him and ask if he was against the mandate), I don’t know I have to check it out. But it seems to me as though we just don’t want to tell a government operation that you need to be more effective and then you do these things that run up cost, cause I’ve been told we detain people who have never broken the law. So I don’t know enough about it, but I did read about it and it’s something I’m interested in.”

Going off of his statement, I asked him if he’d be comfortable with getting information about the detention mandate. He stated “…we will go back. I’m going to find out the other side of it, and then I can make a decision.”

After the event, I spoke with a staffer and received his contact information. Governor Kasich will be receiving information about the immigrant detention mandate in both New Hampshire and in Iowa.

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