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C CAIR-FL In The News

Senate hopeful Beruff holds to anti-immigration comment

By Mark Rivera, For WTSP-News 10, On 29 April 2016, Read Original

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ST. PETERSBURG — He’s a candidate who hopes to be on your ballot this November.

He's a successful businessman with controversial views he's not afraid to share.

He's never run for office -- and wants you to know he's a political outsider.

But we're not talking about Donald Trump.

10News WTSP political reporter Mark Rivera sat down with Manatee County developer Carlos Beruff. He’s running for Marco Rubio’s U.S. Senate seat and he's defending his call to ban immigration from the Middle East.

Rivera: The last couple of days you've gotten some negative headlines on comments you made about banning Muslims from immigrating into the country.

WATCH: More of the interview with Carlos Beruff

Beruff: First of all, that's not a comment I made. The word "Muslim" didn't come out of my mouth. What I said was that we should hold people from the Middle East in a place where you can't let them into the country until the Obama administration fixes the vetting system.

His own FBI director (James) Comey is on the record saying that he does not have the tools necessary to guarantee 100% that people from that region can be safe in the United States.

So, there's no one I know that wants to take a risk on letting anyone in that can possibly do harm to our citizens.
I'm not in that camp. So that's what I said. The word "Muslim" was never part of my comments.

Rivera: Right. When you talk about the Middle East though, it's kind of painting with a broad brush.

Beruff: Well, that's because the media likes to take whatever they want and spin it any way they want. They're liberal. Most media is liberal. They're not going to get me elected.

Rivera: Did you not mean Muslims when you were talking about the Middle East?

Beruff: No, I meant anyone that's a danger to this country. I mean Islamic terrorism is real. Are we going to deny it? Are we not going to call them radical Islamists because it's not politically correct? It's ridiculous. It's absolutely ridiculous.

People are being beheaded and we're worried about whether or not immigration is doing it's job correctly. That doesn't make any sense.

Rivera: The left is coming at you hard saying you're a bigot, and also Muslims here in Tampa Bay are saying the same thing.

Beruff: Well, that's ok. If protecting this country from people that could endanger it, ok, classifies me as a bigot? Then that's a new definition of bigot. It's not the definition that I have, and I'm not a bigot.

Rivera: If you become senator, what would you do with that ability in your new office to fix the system that you say needs fixing when it comes to immigration?

Beruff: It just needs focus. We have the most technologically advanced country in the face of the planet. And do you know when somebody comes in here and their visa expires, we don't know where they are?

They can illegally with a legal Visa... they overstay their visa and we can't find them.

We don't even try. We don't even have a record of them. Does that make any sense?

Let me tell you something. You go into Switzerland, when you check into a hotel, you can't check in unless you give them a copy of your passport.

There are so many things that could be done that will not cost any money as people come in. There's facial recognition systems we already have. We have the technology for all of this.

It's not implemented. And nobody cares to make it a priority. Well it should be a priority. Keeping Americans safe should be the most important thing the federal government does.

Rivera: When you talk about immigration and fixing that issue, is it only the middle east you're worried about? Or is it also people from Mexico, Canada?

Beruff: I think we should control our border. If you remember right after the terrible incident in Paris. President Hollande went on television the next day and said we are closing our borders. God forbid an incident like that happened in this country. We can't go on camera and say "we are closing our border." We'd be a laughing stop 'cause we can't.

We should have a border we can close or secure in a correct manner, period. We have three reasons to close the border. Immigration is just one of them. We have five dollar heroin in Louisville Kentucky that is killing children. And then the third one is, it is a porous border.

At some point, there is a potential that terrorism can come across that border. So pick your poison. But all three of them are good reasons to close the border and control who comes and goes out of this country.

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Florida Democrats, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR Florida), and Democratic Senate candidate Patrick Murphy have all come out strongly against Beruff’s comments calling them “flat-out un-American.”

“Florida voters deserve to know if Ron DeSantis, Carlos Lopez-Cantera, and David Jolly agree with Mr. Beruff or will condemn his hateful and extreme bigotry,” said Murphy campaign spokeswoman Galia Slayen