Sixth district GOP candidates talk about border concerns

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The seven Republicans seeking the Republican nomination for Indiana’s Sixth Congressional District all feel it is important to secure our nation’s border, but have different perspectives on how to best accomplish that.

The three AIM Media Indiana newspapers covering the district — Daily Journal, Daily Reporter and The Republic — collaborated to interview the seven candidates for a four-part series covering key issues of interest this election season. The parts of the series will be shared over the coming week.

Here are their thoughts on immigration and border security, with some editing for length, clarity, grammar and repetition.

Q: What policies would you propose to address immigration and the border with Mexico?

Jamison Carrier: We are not anti-immigration. We are for immigration. We are for legal immigration. So I would like to see policies that make easier legal immigration, but that will help people to get assimilated into our culture. We have a great culture. We want to invite people into that and all of us, nearly all of us were immigrants at some point, right? Our ancestors came to this country and I’m grateful for that. We need to recruit the best people in the world to come to America because it’s the best place in the world to live. But what we have to do is we have to stop the bleeding at the border. There have been more people crossing the border illegally since Biden has been in office than the entire population of Indiana. So, the first thing that I would say is that we’ve got to stop the bleeding at the border. We’ve got to secure the border; that’s got to be our No. 1 priority.

Darin Childress: It needs to be shut down. Shut the border, build the wall – actually, we shouldn’t need to if the border was taken care of the way it was supposed to be. And these people — I hate to say it — some of them are good, some of them are bad as we say, but they need to be deported. We can’t sustain all these people in the United States. We have Americans who are homeless… U.S. citizens come first; migrants come second. But if they were legal then they would be equal to us… The reason behind that is like everybody’s saying … those people will become Democrat voters … If we quit giving them stuff and they have nothing to come for, then they will not come … One of the things I would like to see … Republicans, if they get control of the House, the Senate and hopefully the presidency, we do a census… and that way, we only count U.S. citizens and get the correct number of representatives …

Bill Frazier: I could get the (the border) sealed by sunset today, airtight. I support whatever it takes to shut (illegal immigration) off. I absolutely support the border wall, closing the border, military force. We’ve got to get it closed tight. I’m talking immediately, like yesterday. I’ve traveled all over the world in my lifetime. I’ve been to China. You don’t go to China or leave China without the government’s permission.

John Jacob: We have a border crisis. The present administration, has a failed border policy. They are basically flinging open the doors, even if people don’t want to say that, they are doing that. They’re definitively just letting people into this country and letting them get through the border. … If they catch them, they release them, or if they’re letting them get through various portions of the border. … The failed border policy puts all Americans at risk. We have a massive fentanyl and heroin drug crisis coming in as a result of what’s coming in through our southern border. … The other thing is we were dealing with the issue of children and women being sex trafficked through the border. Also, we have terrorists … coming in through our border. That puts Americans at risk and it compromises the safety of our entire of our entire nation. My goal, if elected, would be to press hard for legislation that shores up our border. If Trump was elected, I would definitely work with him on getting the wall built … We need to have a proper vetting process for each person who is coming into this country.

Jeff Raatz: I haven’t thought a whole lot about it. … It’s something much bigger than most of us trying to determine exactly what to do as a problem of mass. Are there criminals, I suppose that have come across and maybe terrorists? Those need to be identified and removed from the country. The other piece, I don’t know how we identify criminals, but obviously I’ve watched the news and some things that have happened that are not good … (We need to ensure) the safety of our citizens.

Jefferson Shreve: We must secure our southern border and we must fix our country’s broken immigration policies. It’s the most important issue facing Congress. The Biden administration is unwilling to fix the lawlessness. The effects are devastating. We must complete the border wall, reform our immigration system, end catch-and-release policies, and put an end to the fentanyl trafficking that’s flowing over our southern border. America can do this. Our current leadership chooses not to. It’s past time for a change.

Mike Speedy: The first thing that absolutely needs to be done is to secure the border. It is controlled by the cartels, and they are putting our country at risk by cutting deals with other countries, with drug dealers, with human (traffickers). An incredible amount of human suffering is occurring as a result of the cartels controlling our (border). With the cooperation of the Mexican government, we should entertain military action to clean up the cartels. … Once we secure the border, only then can we be in a position to reform immigration. We need a healthy immigration system, but we need people to come in the front door and we need them to be a net benefit to our economy and to our country. … It could be National Guard … (or) the U.S. military. This is a this is a quasi-invasion; this is an invasion. … We need to clean up the cartels, and Mexico is not prepared to do it. But we would need their cooperation, regardless.

Q: How do propose to make that work/pay for it?

Jamison Carrier: We’ve tracked those crossings since the 1960s, but yet, if you look back at where we were when President Trump was in office, those crossings were way down. So it wasn’t (and) it’s not a funding issue. President Biden chose to allow those folks to come across the border, and our border patrol is just processing people who are then being released into the United States. And so it’s not a funding issue. It’s a policy issue.

Darin Childress: We need to start using the material that’s lying on the ground… So now we should rebuild the wall stronger, bigger and better than what it was because we can build it — they say that’s going to cost umpteen millions of dollars. How much money of millions of dollars have we just wasted in that budget bill they just passed? … That’s another thing, I would go there and get rid of the government waste and devote it to what needs to be done for Americans, like (build) the wall and then enforce (the border). We should put more border guards. They should be able to do the job like it’s supposed to be … because there’s a lot of people who don’t realize there’s battles and stuff going on across the line.

Bill Frazier: Whatever it takes, including additional funds for the military and the U.S. Border Patrol.

John Jacob: The federal government has no problem spending money on frivolous things outside of the boundaries of the Constitution. … We massively spend on things that we should not be spending money on, and we don’t spend money on the things that we should spend money on. … So, one of those things should be the protection of our nation for the national defense. The border policy is a national defense issue. It’s not a foreign policy issue. It’s an issue that’s right here at our borders — right on our doorstep — so that should be something that every American and every member of Congress should be concerned about and should support.

Jeff Raatz: Well, originally, it would cost us some money to send if we choose to send troops down there to secure the border. That would be a cost to the nation (would) approve, in the light of national security. But other than that, I don’t think we’re looking at much. It’s not like now the (illegal immigrants) who are here right now — that’s a whole other story. People who have come in since the border has been wide open. In my mind, (there’s no) fiscal cost to get it done other than border patrol and the new laws to prevent masses from coming across the border. Honestly, the infrastructure is in place, it’s just a matter of the direction that they’re by law required to implement.

Jefferson Shreve: There is plenty of room to trim government waste to pay for these necessary improvements. Fixing our immigration system will save taxpayer money. Our social services are being stretched to their limits at the federal, state and local levels.

Mike Speedy: You’d have to make it a priority. We could decrease … the funding that would go to Ukraine and put it on the southern border. We would have an incredible amount of savings if we didn’t have the process and take care of so many millions of illegal immigrants. Those savings can be used to secure the border.



Name: Jamison E. Carrier

Age: 48

Residence: Greenwood (White River Township)

Family: Wife, Kathy; Three children

Occupation: Founder/owner, Relentless Dealer Services

Education: Bethel Academy, Richmond; Indiana Wesleyan University

Military service: None

Political experience: First time candidate

Memberships: National Rifle Association, Grace Assembly of God Church, National Little Britches Rodeo Association


Name: Darin Childress

Age: 62

Residence: Richmond

Family: three children, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren

Occupation: semi-retired, mechanic for the military, trainer for IED convoy training

Education background: Richmond High School, some college

Military service: 14 years in Marines, 20+ years in Army

Political experience: First time candidate

Memberships: Veteran organizations AMVETS, VFW, Legion Marine Core league, Moose, Eagle and Mason


Name: Bill Frazier

Age: 87

Residence: Muncie

Family: Six children, seven grandchildren

Occupation: Farmer

Education background: BA, Ball State University

Military service: Paratrooper, Sgt. U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division

Political experience: Indiana State Senate, District 14, from 1968 to 1970; Republican nominee for Muncie-area U.S. congressional district in 1976, 1978, 1980 and 1992

Memberships: Chicago Board of Trade, Mid-America Commodity Exchange, Sons of the American Revolution, Disabled American Veterans, Grace Baptist Church of Muncie


Name: John Jacob

Age: 57

Residence: Indianapolis

Family: Wife, Angie; six children; five grandchildren

Occupation: Owner, Vicci Design

Education background: Roncalli High School, Indianapolis; IUPUI

Military service: None

Political experience: Unsuccessfully ran in Indiana Senate District 36 caucus, 2023; Indiana State Representative for District 93, 2020-2022

Memberships: None provided


Name: Jeff Raatz

Age: 60

Residence: Richmond

Family: wife, Lisa; two daughters

Occupation: business owner, Raatz LLC

Education background: Baker College of Muskegon, BA in Business; Indiana University, MA in Management

Military service: U.S Army

Political experience: State Senator for District 27, 2014-present

Memberships: IU East Advisory Board and IU East Business Graduate Program, member; Cross Power Ministries Board, member; Every Child Can Read Board, member


Name: Jefferson Shreve

Age: 57

Residence: Perry Township, Indianapolis

Family: Wife Mary, no children

Occupation: Founder of Storage Express

Education background: BA Indiana University, MA University of London, MBA Purdue University

Military service: None

Political experience: Indianapolis City-County Councilor, 2013-2019; GOP nominee for Indianapolis mayor in 2023; IMPD Police Staffing Commission; commissioner on the Indianapolis Metropolitan Development Commission

Memberships: National Chairman and board member of the Indiana University Alumni Association, 2011-2016; Executive Dean’s board member of IU’s College of Arts and Sciences; IUPUI Chancellor’s Board; board and executive committee member of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce


Name: Mike Speedy

Age: 55

Residence: Indianapolis

Family: Wife, Amy; three children

Occupation: Real estate developer, American Village Properties LLC

Education background: Loy Norrix High School, Kalamazoo, Michigan; Indiana University School of Business, Bloomington; IU School of Law, Indianapolis

Military service: None

Political experience: Indianapolis City-County Council, 2003-2010; Indiana House of Representatives, 2010-present

Memberships: Licensed attorney Indiana Supreme Court, Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 1354, National Rifle Association, Bargersville Rotary Club, Aspire Johnson County, Johnson County Bourbon Club, Aeronautical Center of Technology, Living Word Bible Church


U.S. House of Representatives District 6

Term: Two years

Duties: Representatives draft and vote on legislation brought before the U.S. House of Representatives, including matters of the interior, national security and the nation’s budget.

Salary: $174,000 (2023)