INTERVIEW: Senator Jim Risch talks National Guard deployment, international trade and denuclearization

Photo Courtesy: Jim Risch

Senator Jim Risch (R-ID) was elected to the United States Senate in November of 2008, after serving as Idaho State senator, lieutenant governor and governor. Sen. Risch serves on five Senate committees, include the Select Committee on Intelligence. He joined Neal Larson on KID Newsradio to talk about President Trump’s discussion on sending the National Guard to the southern border, international trade and North Korea’s silence since talks of denuclearization.

Listen to the full interview below:


IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — Immigration is back in the headlines as President Donald Trump discusses sending the National Guard to the line the southern border of the United States.

“The President has now talked about putting the National Guard on the border, to do what should be done and has not been done and that is to secure the border,” Senator Jim Risch (R-ID) told KID Newsradio. “You don’t have a nation if you don’t have a border.”

According to the White House, over 1,000 people a day illegally enter the United States. With illegal immigration on the rise, Risch said, the demographic of illegal immigrants is shifting from Mexico to Central America.

“Central America is becoming much more the issue than Mexico,” Risch said. “It’s been growing steadily because one thing they say that’s absolutely true is things are awful. They don’t have rule of law, they’ve got gangs, because it’s all drug related, corruption is ripe and deep in all institutions of government, so when you have that it’s an awful situation.”

But, terrible situations in one’s home country are no excuse for illegal immigration, Risch said. As other countries enact swift punishments for those who illegally cross their borders, the United States is much softer on those who break immigration law.

“It’s totally unacceptable to have one person coming in that doesn’t meet the criteria,” Risch said. “There isn’t a country in the world that allows this to go on.”

Away from the border, Washington is dealing with another international issue: trade. After President Trump enacted stiffer tariffs against 1,300 Chinese products, according to the New York Times, many worry a trade war is on the horizon.

“[The President] is of the frame of mind that the U.S. is strong enough that we are going to be able to negotiate more favorable deals than what we’ve had before,” Risch said. “Most everyone agrees that when we do, do a trade deal, we wind up on the short end of the stick…we give more than what we take.”

Still, Risch said the President is getting plenty of encouragement to end trade conflicts over and work out a better deal for the United States, as soon as possible

With the National Guard poised to head to the southern border of the United States and the country banters with China about trade, North Korea has stayed unusually silent. After President Trump and Kim Jong Un exchanged some heated remarks, the two countries began to discuss possibly meeting for negotiations; a result of a campaign to turn up the heat on the North Korean dictator, Risch said.

“People were assuming that what [Kim Jong Un] wanted was nuclear weapons,” Risch said. “His strongest want is not nuclear weapons. His strongest want is he wants that dictator monarchy to stay in place. That’s what he wants and so once that was realized and the program shifted to focusing on what can be done so he gets what he wants and gives up his nuclear weapons, all of a sudden, things started to happen.”