GOP presidential candidate Ben CarsonBen CarsonSunday shows preview: Multiple states detect cases of the omicron variant Race is not central to Rittenhouse case — but the media shout it anyway Trump endorses primary challenger to Peter Meijer in Michigan MORE drew 6,000 people to his rally in Phoenix on Tuesday evening, according to reports.
Carson has been surging in the polls following a strong performance in the first Republican presidential debate. A recent national poll showed him placing second behind front-runner Donald Trump.
Carson changed venues for the Tuesday event to accommodate what his campaign said was a boost in interest. The event was moved from Grace Community Church in Tempe — which seats 2,300 — to the Phoenix Convention Center, which seats 6,000.
At his rally, Carson addressed the hot topic of immigration, criticizing Trump's recent proposal, reported AZFamily.com
“Rounding up 11 million people and deporting them, you know it may sound good to some people, but that’s not pragmatic,” the retired neurosurgeon told listeners.
Carson added that he has concerns with the cost of implementing such a move and what impact it would have on the national debt.
“We’re borrowing money from China in order to give it to Pakistan,” he said. “That doesn’t make any sense.”
Carson’s speech in Arizona comes ahead of his visit to the Grand Canyon State’s border with Mexico on Wednesday afternoon.
In his speech, Carson emphasized tougher security along all of the nation’s borders. He also backed a guest-worker program for illegal immigrants based on paying taxes and back-tax penalties, according to the report.
Carson said such an approach wouldn't be amnesty, saying that it maintains the status quo for legal immigration.
Carson is the third presidential candidate to visit Arizona this summer, after Trump and Democratic contender Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
Trump's estimated attendance for his stop at the Phoenix Convention Center was about 5,000 people last month. His campaign though claimed 15,000 attended.
Sanders drew more than 11,000 to his event in July.