Jindal: US immigration system 'backwards'

Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.) on Friday said U.S. immigration policies must totally reverse course, calling for changes to attract skilled legal immigrants and ensure border security.

“Our immigration system is exactly backwards,” said Jindal, a possible 2016 GOP contender, during the National Review’s NRI Ideas Summit in Washington, D.C.

“We have an immigration system with a low wall and a narrow gate,” he continued. “We need one with a high wall and a broad gate.”

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Jindal said the “low wall” referred to America’s porous borders and called illegal immigration a major security failure of President Obama's.

“What’s the point of barbed wire if the gate stays open?” Jindal asked.

“What I want today is for the federal government to secure the border,” he added. “It is not hard. It is not incredibly difficult.”

Jindal’s “broad gate” is greater access to citizenship for legal immigrants. He argued that turning talented foreigners into Americans would make the country stronger.

“I do think we need to increase the number of people coming in through the front door,” he said.

“One of the dumbest things we do right now is the number of people with advanced degrees we kick out to go and compete for other countries,” Jindal said of immigration policies.

“How does that make sense?” he asked.

“There is nothing wrong with saying we only want you in our country if you want to be an American,” Jindal, whose parents were immigrants, added.

“This is a great, great place,” he said. “A part of that is assimilation and integration.”

Jindal’s remarks come as he considers a possible bid for the GOP’s 2016 presidential nomination.