DISTRICT 3, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH) — With a caravan of asylum seekers from South and Central America marching toward America’s southern border, the election deciding how they are greeted is Tuesday.
A mid-October Monmouth poll placed immigration policy third on issues most important to District 3 voters, so it’s been one of the key stances that could make or break the Democrat Richard Ojeda or Republican Carol Miller campaigns for House District 3.
“There’s a process to it,” Ojeda said. “It needs to be done legally.”
Ojeda said he supports strong border security, but doesn’t support a key Trump proposal to that end: the border wall.
“As a person who spent 24 years in the military, I can defeat any wall with a shovel and a ladder,” he said.
Ojeda said the border wall, if constructed, would not be much of a deterrent and, with a multi-billion dollar price tag, it would be too expensive.
He suggested, instead, that that money fund more border patrol jobs and better support technology.
“You can send a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) up that can be able to detect a heat signature,” he said.
Miller said she would support building the wall, but only if the money makes sense.
“Our borders are under assault,” she said. “The president promised it would happen, and I’ll have to see how we can fund it because I’m very fiscally conservative.”
Both said they support stringent vetting processes for immigrants, but would balance it with a need to get productive people into America.
“There are good people from all over this world,” Miller said, “and we welcome good people into our country.”
Ojeda pointed to his history as proof he would help “good” people in need get into the country.
“I’ve been successful in getting five of my Afghan interpreters into America,” he said. “These are people who stood with me in combat.”
Polls open at 6:30 a.m.. in West Virginia and close at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.