The Spectacle Blog

Barr on illegals: We ‘owe them nothing’

By on 5.12.08 | 11:39PM

Reporters at Bob Barr's press conference this morning seemed focused mainly on the possibility that Barr's Libertarian Party presidential candidacy might hurt Republican John McCain's chances in November. Almost completely overlooked were Barr's statements on illegal immigration.

"I've never been called a compassionate conservative," the ex-Republican told reporters at the National Press Club, responding to a question about immigration .

"If a person is illegally in this country, the taxpayers of this country and the government of this country owe them nothing," Barr said.

This notion that government owes something to people, simply because they're here, does not resonate with me as somebody who believes in responsible government. If one were running a charity called the United States of America, that would be one thing. This is not a charity, this is the people's business. . . . I disagree with the [1982 Plyer v. Doe] court decision . . . that decided that children of illegal aliens, people who are in this country unlawfully, have a right to a public education paid for by the taxpayers of this country. That is an improper, irresponsible decision."

The LP convention begins May 22 in Denver, and in April, I examined some of the difficulties facing Barr in his fight for the Libertarian nomination.

Barr today released an online video announcing his candidacy:

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