KENNEWICK — Kennewick officials should oust all illegal aliens and turn the city into an English-only language community, said Loren Nichols, a 55-year-old candidate for city council.
"I'm a hawk on this, but that's how much I value America," Nichols told the Herald on Tuesday after being contacted about his comments during a recent radio interview calling for capital punishment for illegal aliens.
The candidate, who is running against mayor Steve Young, also said illegal aliens should "be shot at the border."
Nichols revealed his hard-line views about illegal immigration during a 15-minute interview Friday morning with KONA radio's Jeff Phillips.
If elected, Nichols said he would push the city council to ban illegal immigrants and order them to leave town in 30 days.
He told Phillips: "If they value their lives, they would leave."
"I told him that sounded like a threat against individuals who come into this country illegally," Phillips told the Herald.
"I'm not promoting killing anyone," Nichols replied during the interview, explaining that anyone who enters the U.S. illegally shows they don't respect "our values."
"I know that is a very drastic stand, but let me put it this way: I expect illegal invasion of our country by foreign entities to be met with deadly force. That's how I expect to see my country protected, and I feel the same way about our city," Nichols explained to the Herald.
The audio recording played for the Herald confirmed Nichols' hard-line attitude, which has him describing illegal immigration as rape.
"Rape of our city and rape of our country is something that should be dealt with by the highest penalty," he added.
"(Illegal aliens) should be shot at the border. That's how much I value America," Nichols said.
A Navy veteran who served in the mid-'80s in the Mediterranean and said he had top security clearance in connection with his work involving the Russian language, Nichols said illegal immigration is a high offense.
"We sent troops to Kuwait because Iraqis were invading their borders. It doesn't show much value for our country to let (illegal aliens) cross our borders," he said.
Nichols told the Herald that allowing one month for illegal aliens to clear out of Kennewick was generous.
"They would be lucky to have that," he said.
Nichols also believes there should be only one language in Kennewick -- English.
He said language is the glue that binds a community, regardless of what language it is. But in the U.S., that language should be English.
Nichols said he bears no personal animosity toward non-English speakers, and in particular toward people from Mexico. He said his concern is about illegal immigration into the U.S. from any country.
"I know I'm putting this on the line, but it is important," he said.
Phillips said he gave Nichols several opportunities to "clarify or change course."
"I asked him if he was saying we should have capital punishment for people who come into this country illegally. He said that was what he was saying. He just affirmed it," Phillips said.