Quotes from Contemporary Public Officials
"By balancing the needs of families and employers, and by extending a safe haven to those fleeing persecution, our immigration policy serves its historic purpose. Freedom and opportunity is the cornerstone of American society, and immigrants continue to embody that freedom."
(The Christian Science Monitor, December 3, 1996)
Former Secretary of State
"We have the most generous immigration policy, but what is a concern is when illegal immigrants come and undermine a variety of the systems that work in order to make our society function."
(AP 4/14/98, "Albright says U.S. doesn't want to be sole superpower")
Former Secretary of Education
"The right way to think about it is that we should have a generous policy on legal immigration, but its limit is how many new people can we assimilate and still have one country?... Our greatest strength is that we try to turn that diversity into one country. That's where we should be engaging the president. We have to have a common language and agree on a few important ideas, one of which is to provide equal opportunity to individuals and not to groups. Our public schools used to be for the purpose of helping people learn to read and write and what it meant to be an American. It takes a little while to learn it, and if too many people come into the country all at once, it's hard to have one country."
(Washington Times, June 18, 1997)
Antonovich, Michael D.
L.A. County Supervisor
"The question taxpayers keep asking is 'why should we pay for services for those who have broken the law to get here?' They should not, nor should they be forced to be the Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) and School District of the world. This is evidenced in every poll I have seen indicating that every ethnic group is opposed to illegal immigration and supports enforcement of the law."
(Prepared remarks Feb., 1994)
Former Rep. R-TX
"In my view, immigrants today aren't any different from immigrants who have come to America throughout our nation's history. They bring new ideas, an entrepreneurial spirit and close family ties. They place a high value on education. And they are eager to achieve the American Dream. ... It's to our benefit to keep our doors open, and to keep enriching our economy and culture. I'd like to see America continue to do so."
(From letter to a constituent, September 22, 1995)
Bachman, Michele — Deportation
U.S. Rep. R-Minn., Presidential Candidate 2011
"What I'm talking about is the order of deportation, the sequence of deportation. It is almost impossible to move 11 million illegal immigrants overnight. You do it in steps."
(The Hill, November 28, 2011)
"I believe we have a tremendous problem in the United States with illegal immigration. There's probably everyone in this room descends from immigrants in one way or another in the United States. The question is, did we — did the immigrant — immigrants come into the country legally or did they come in illegally? This is a fairly black and white issue. If the immigrants have come into the nation legally, we welcome them with open arms. We want them in the United States. If they've come into the United States illegally, it is not for us to praise them for breaking our laws for coming into the United States. It's important that we uphold the law of the land."
(Transcript November 7, 2011)
Former Presidential Candidate & White House advisor
On another question that has divided his party, he comes down somewhere between those in his party who favor a slowdown or moratorium on legal immigration to allow for fuller assimilation and those who say, in effect, the more, the merrier.
Mr. Bauer's view is that America's "self-interests" should be the guide on "how much immigration we allow." But he also said that if the nation can agree that it must teach its founding principles to schoolchildren and immigrants alike -- and teach them in English -- "then I think the dispute about immigration will disappear."
(Washington Times, Nov. 1, 1999)
Former Secretary of Education & Co-Dir., Empower America
"We are all the sons or daughters of immigrants - some more recent than others - but all dedicated to the triumph of an idea that serves as the touchstone of what it means to be an American. This America is the only America that we have hitherto known - if being conservative has anything to do with conserving the principles of our past, then no conservative has any business bashing legal immigration."
(Forward to Employment-Based Immigration and High Technology: Issues and Recommendations, February 1996)
Brezezinski, Zbigniew — Open borders impractical
Former Carter Administration national security advisor
"Today we are in a situation in which the free movement of people can have enormous, monumental dimensions, and I don't think that any country in Western Europe or in America can any longer adopt the idea of totally free movement of people. I t would simply overwhelm their social facilities, their societies and create migratory dynamics on the scales of tens and tens of millions of people. That simply is not practical."
(Speech "Fifty Years After Yalta," April 1, 1995)
Former CA State Treasurer
(CA State Treas.)
(Commenting on CA has about 14,000 undocumented state prisoners and about 10,000 in county jails.)
"We need to deport these criminals and negotiate agreements requiring that they do their time in their own countries."
"Every time we sign a treaty with another country, the treaty (should) include prisoner transfer provisions.... Under these provisions, the country in which the crimes were committed could demand that the convicts' country of origin incarcerate the prisoners for the terms to which they were sentenced.... Foreign felons in U.S. prisons are exacerbating out budget and law enforcement problems.... We will never get countries to take back their prisoners unless we have some leverage. NAFTA gives us that opportunity."
(San Francisco Chron. 7/26/93
Bryant, John W. — Investor Visas
Former Rep. D-TX
(on the Investor Visa Program during the brief House debate on the measure)
"This provision is an unbelievable departure from our tradition of cherishing our most precious birthright as Americans." "Have we no self-respect as a nation? Are we so broke we have to sell our birthright?"
"Strong employer sanctions are absolutely essential to turn off the jobs magnet that encourages people to enter the United States illegally."
(132 Congressional Record 31640, 1986)
Presidential Candidate & Commentator
"On immigration policy, I believe we ought to call an immediate halt, stop illegal immigration and reduce legal immigration back to about 250,000 to 300,000, to more easily assimilate the Americans who've come here in the last 30 years.'
(CNN "Evans, Novak, Hunt & Shields," March 20, 1999)
Former Gov. FL
(From a letter to U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno)
"Preventing alien smuggling is the job of the federal government, and today the federal government is failing in its responsibility. ...Alien smuggling is increasing every month - as it has for the last two years and, according to the estimates of your own federal authorities, is expected to increase even more in the upcoming months. ...The federal government must do more, before other innocent people die off our shores at the hands of smugglers more concerned with profit than life. ...Despite the fact that the number of Border Patrol agents nationwide has more than doubled, there has been no increase in the number of Border Patrol agents assigned to South Florida in the last ten years. ...This is inexcusable.''
(Associated Press - Mar. 19, 1999 -- 5:27 PM)
Bush, George W.
"I know we need to reform immigration, but at this point I don't support blanket amnesty. I don't think it will help us meet our goals."
(Orange County Register, May 5, 2000)
"We ought to increase legal immigration for our country's advantage. The high-tech world we are now dominating is dependent on educated folks, but we're short...of workers. It is to our nation's advantage to encourage high-powered, smart people to come into our country."
(Iowa Gazette, Jan. 6, 2000)
(On combatting illegal immigration )
[Federal expenditures would be more effective] "...at the front end, to stop people from illegally entering our country, not at the back end, by reimbursing states after it has failed to enforce the border." [I] "would allocate additional resources to enforcing the border, so states such as Texas and California would not have the huge expenses they currently do."
(San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 9, 1999)
Byrd, Sen. Robert
(Appropriations Committee Chairman)
(On Clinton announcement of new Haiti policy)
"He (Pres. Bush) rightly decided that it was far better to return all Haitians than to encourage, deliberately or not, tens of thousands of people to take to the open ocean in unseaworthy, overcrowded boats.... When the Haitians sense the door has been cracked open, they will once again prepare their rag-tag armada and set sail for the land of plenty - America."
(UPI May 10, 1994)
(former U.S. President)
[referring in 1980 to the Marielito influx of Cubans and Haitians]
"Our laws were not designed to accommodate three or four thousand refugees coming here per day. Our laws were designed for people to be screened in a foreign country, carefully catalogued, and brought here a few at a time. This just didn't happen."
(Miami Herald's 1993 series on Immigration, part one "U.S. Policy in Shambles")
Former Secretary of Homeland Security
"I'm sometimes asked why it is that for 30 years we seem to have trouble in the United States enforcing the rules against illegal immigration, and I'll tell you what the answer is. The answer is that when the television cameras turn off and the spotlight moves to something else, there are a host of interest groups and advocacy groups who work very, very hard to make it difficult to enforce these rules. I'm not commenting adversely on their motivation, but I can tell you the effect of all of this is to wear down the ability of an agency to enforce the law....
"The fact that we have not had a terrorist attack in this country in the last six years is not a cause for complacency or a time to celebrate the end of the struggle. The threat is not going away. The enemy has not lost interest. ...Fundamentally, we're in a struggle about ideology. Terrorists want to remake the world in their own image and it is the image that is intolerant of the kinds of institutions that we cherish."
(Press Conference transcript, Dec. 12, 2007)
"So people have to decide. Do they want to have the security? Do they want to continue to plug the gap [in border security] that GAO has identified and recognize that there will be some costs to doing that? Or do we want to make sure that business isn't hampered and that people can move back and forth readily, and recognize that, if we don't put some barriers in place, we're going to wind up with dangerous people coming into the country?"
(Press conference transcript, Nov. 11, 2007)
"We don't really have the ability to enforce the law with respect to illegal work in this country in a way that's truly effective…We haven't been able to require every employer to enter a system in which they check the work status of their employees and determine whether they're legal, and without that, we don't really have the ability to enforce the law with respect to illegal work in this country in a way that's truly effective. And that would be the single greatest additional weapon we could use if we're serious about tackling this problem."
[Following the collapse of the 'Bush-Kennedy compromise' (S.1639).]
(Fox News interview, July 1, 2007 cited in Washington Times, July 2, 2007)
Former Gov. FL, Former Sen. D-FL
"How can you raise the level of consciousness on this? How can you get the federal government to take the responsibility? Florida does not have a foreign policy. This is a federal policy or absence of federal policy. It's so clear that we're not being treated fairly. We have to come up with a solution. It hurts your head trying to figure out what to do."
(Miami Herald of Dec. 17, 1993)
Former Secretary of Transportation & Mayor of Denver
"There are some benefits [that illegal aliens] clearly ought not have...[including] health benefits and welfare benefits and others that serve as a magnet attracting people here from other countries."
(Washington Post 8/23/93)
(roundtable discussion on peace efforts: National Palace of Culture Guatemala City, Guatemala)
"I think it's important for every country to enforce its immigration laws and try to protect its borders. We have very generous legal immigration laws, and we have many, many immigrants from Central America making a major contribution, positive contribution to the United States.
On the other hand, most of the illegal immigrants from Guatemala and other Central American countries are not law-breakers by nature; they're people who are seeking a better life. It's hard to leave your family and your home, and take the risks inherent in coming to a strange land without the approval of the law. And people do it because they want a better opportunity for themselves and their families.
I think there are two things that should be noted as we do try to enforce our immigration laws. The first is that we have to be sensitive and act with justice and understand the impact of recent events. The second is that the present American law is completely unfair in that it treats different --people from different countries in Central America differently. And it is a vestige of our, sort of, kind of our Cold War mentality, and how we were involved here.
I can do two things about that. The first is to try to change the law. And we will aggressively work to try to change the law to get parity, equal treatment for all people from Central America without regard to the political past, and whether the difficulties of the past were seen as coming from the right or the left. I think that's irrelevant. We should treat all countries the same.
The second is to use, to the maximum extent possible, whatever flexibility I have under present law to achieve the same goal. I will do that.
(Tanscript of March 10, 1999
"Most illegal immigrants are not by nature lawbreakers. Most are looking for the chance to live in dignity. Nevertheless we must continue to discourage illegal immigration for it undermines control of our borders...and even more punishes hard-working people who play by the rules and who wait for their turn to come to the United States. Therefore we must enforce our laws, but we will do so with justice and fairness."
(March 10, 1999 - San Salvador, El Salvador, text of speech to El Salvador Legislature)
Commencement Address at Portland State Univ.
"Let me state my view unequivocally: I believe new immigrants are good for America... But mark my words, unless we handle this well, immigration of this sweep and scope can threaten our union."
The driving force behind our increasing diversity is a new, large wave of immigration. It is changing the face of America. And while most of the changes are good, they do present challenges which demand more both from new immigrants and from our citizens. Citizens share a responsibility to welcome new immigrants, to ensure that they strengthen our nation, to give them their chance at the brass ring.
In turn, new immigrants have a responsibility to learn, to work, to contribute to America. If both citizens and immigrants do their part, we will grow ever stronger in the new global information economy.
But now we are being tested again -- by a new wave of immigration larger than any in a century, far more diverse than any in our history. Each year, nearly a million people come legally to America. Today, nearly one in ten people in America was born in another country; one in five schoolchildren are from immigrant families. Today, largely because of immigration, there is no majority race in Hawaii or Houston or New York City. Within five years there will be no majority race in our largest state, California. In a little more than 50 years there will be no majority race in the United States. No other nation in history has gone through demographic change of this magnitude in so short a time.
What do the changes mean? They can either strengthen and unite us, or they can weaken and divide us. We must decide.
Now, some Americans don't see it that way. When they hear new accents or see new faces, they feel unsettled. They worry that new immigrants come not to work hard, but to live off our largesse. They're afraid the America they know and love is becoming a foreign land. This reaction may be understandable, but it's wrong. It's especially wrong when anxiety and fear give rise to policies and ballot propositions to exclude immigrants from our civic life. I believe it's wrong to deny law-abiding immigrants benefits available to everyone else; wrong to ignore them as people not worthy of being counted in the census. It's not only wrong, it's un-American.
Let me be clear: I also think it's wrong to condone illegal immigration that flouts our laws, strains our tolerance, taxes our resources. Even a nation of immigrants must have rules and conditions and limits, and when they are disregarded, public support for immigration erodes in ways that are destructive to those who are newly arrived and those who are still waiting patiently to come.
We must remember, however, that the vast majority of immigrants are here legally. In every measurable way, they give more to our society than they take. Consider this: On average, immigrants pay $1,800 more in taxes every year than they cost our system in benefits. Immigrants are paying into Social Security at record rates. Most of them are young, and they will help to balance the budget when we baby boomers retire and put strains on it.
We should treat new immigrants as we would have wanted our own grandparents to be treated. We should share our country with them, not shun them or shut them out. But mark my words, unless we handle this well, immigration of this sweep and scope could threaten the bonds of our union.
So I say, as President, to all our immigrants, you are welcome here. But you must honor laws, embrace our culture, learn our language, know our history; and when the time comes, you should become citizens. And I say to all Americans, we have responsibilities as well to welcome our newest immigrants, to vigorously enforce laws against discrimination.
Ethnic pride is a very good thing. America is one of the places which most reveres the distinctive ethnic, racial, religious heritage of our various peoples. The days when immigrants felt compelled to Anglicize their last name or deny their heritage are, thankfully, gone. But pride in one's ethnic and racial heritage must never become an excuse to withdraw from the larger American community. That does not honor diversity; it breeds divisiveness. And that could weaken America.
Now, it's all very well for someone to say, everyone of them should learn English immediately. But we don't at this time necessarily have people who are trained to teach them English in all those languages. So I say to you, it is important for children to retain their native language But unless they also learn English, they will never reach their full potential in the United States.
One hundred and forty years ago, in the First Lady's hometown of Chicago, immigrants outnumbered native Americans. Addressing a crowd there in 1858, Abraham Lincoln asked what connection those immigrants could possibly feel to people like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, who founded our nation. Here was his answer: If they, the immigrants, look back through this history to trace their connection to those days by blood, they will find they have none. But our founders proclaimed that we are all created equal in the eyes of God. And that, Lincoln said, is the electric cord in that declaration that links the hearts of patriotic and liberty-loving people everywhere.
(Presidential Documents, June 13, 1998)
"I support lowering the level of legal immigration by a moderate amount at this time. Legal immigration reform must be based upon principles that are pro-family, pro-work, and pro-naturalization, retaining opportunities for family reunification as the levels are lowered. We must not let this issue become divisive in this country."
(AP Candidates' Views on Issues Sept. 12, 1996)
1996 State of the Union speech:
"Let me be clear: we are still a nation of immigrants, and we honor all those immigrants who are working hard to become new citizens."
(The New York Times, January 24, 1996)
"Having met this morning with Chair Barbara Jordan, I want to congratulate the Commission on Immigration Reform for its recommendation on legal immigration. Consistent with my own views, the Commission's recommendations are pro-family, pro-work, pro-naturalization. As with the Commission's first report on illegal immigration, which we are now aggressively implementing, the Commission has again laid out a roadmap for the Congress to consider. It appears to reflect a balanced immigration policy that makes the most of our diversity while protecting the American workforce so that we can better compete in the emerging global economy. The administration looks forward to working with Congress on this issue."
Statement on the Commission on Immigration Reform," June 7, 1995)
Weekly Radio Address
"[Illegal immigration] costs the taxpayers of the United States a lot of money. And it's unfair to Americans who are working every day to pay their own bills. It's also unfair to a lot of people who have waited in line for years and years in other countries to be legal immigrants."
"Our immigration policy is focussed in four areas: First, strengthening border control; second, protecting American jobs by enforcing laws against illegal immigrants at the workplace; third, deporting criminal and deportable aliens; fourth, giving assistance to states who need it, and denying illegal aliens benefits for public services or welfare.
"It simply doesn't make any sense for us to have illegal aliens in our custody in our courts and then let them go back to living here illegally. That's wrong and we should stop it."
"There is actually a backlog in the deportation of illegal aliens of over 100,000. That's 100,000 people we have identified who are still awaiting the completion of their deportation hearings. I have instructed the Justice Department to get rid of this backlog.... We also have hundreds of thousands of people who have been ordered to leave our country who then disappear back into the population. I have instructed the Justice Department, and particularly the Immigration and Naturalization Service, to come up with a plan in which we can cooperate with the states to identify these people and move them out as well."
(May 6, 1995)
Budget Message [citing 10/94 statement]
"Our policy is guided by the principle that we will keep unauthorized aliens out of the United States, welcome legal immigrants, and protect refugees from harm. Our solutions rely on working in partnership with States and communities."
White House press conf.
"It is wrong, and ultimately self-defeating for a nation of immigrants to permit the kind of abuse of our immigration laws that we have seen...in recent years. There is too much of it, and we must do much more to stop it." "The fact is that employer sanctions have been in the law...since 1986 but no prior administration has made a serious attempt to enforce them."
(Associated Press report Feb. 8, 1995)
State of the Union Address, 1/24/95
'All Americans, not only in the states most heavily affected but in every place in this country, are rightly disturbed by the large numbers of illegal aliens entering our country. The jobs they hold might otherwise be held by citizens or legal immigrants; the public services they use impose burdens on our taxpayers. That's why our administration has moved aggressively to secure our borders more by hiring a record number of new border guards, by deporting twice as many criminal aliens as ever before, by cracking down on illegal hiring, by barring welfare benefits to illegal aliens.
"In the budget I will present to you, we will try to do more to speed the deportation of illegal aliens who are arrested for crimes, to better identify illegal aliens in the workplace as recommended by the commission headed by former congresswoman Barbara Jordan. We are a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws. It is wrong and ultimately self-defeating for a nation of immigrants to permit the kind of abuse of our immigration laws we have seen in recent years, and we must do more to stop it."
"I recently spoke with Barbara Jordan of the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, and I increasingly believe we need a system to verify employment eligibility. The Commission's recommendation of a national registry may be the way to go."
(CAPS press release 10/24/94, Clinton spoke on 10/22/94 in Belmont, Calif.)
In response to Mayor Rice who asked about welfare reform and cutting off some recipients who would then become a local charge: "What we did with deeming rules were designed - it was designed to keep costs from coming on to the government that should be borne by families of immigrants who actually have incomes and can afford to pay."
(June 13, 1994 Satellite Conf. of Mayors Dialog)
[referring to a Republican welfare reform proposal that would completely eliminate access to many government services by immigrants -- a proposal first floated by the White House]
[It] "has a lot of things in it that I like, but I think it's way too hard on financing things from immigrants."
(Washington Post Mar. 28, 1994)
"We must say no to illegal immigration so we can continue to say yes to legal immigration."
(Interpreter Releases, vol. 70, No. 39 pp.1325-31, 10/8/93)
"We can't afford to lose control of our own borders or to take on new financial burdens at a time when we are not adequately providing for the jobs, the health care and the education of our own people."
(Washington Times, June 20, 1993)
"...the fact [is] that our borders leak like a sieve: those things cannot be permitted to continue in good conscience."
"The simple fact is that we must not—and we will not—surrender our borders to those who wish to exploit our history of compassion and justice."
(New York Times, July 28, 1993)
"To the extent that our workers compete with low-paid Mexicans, it is as much through undocumented immigration as trade. This pattern threatens low-paid, low-skill U.S. workers.
The combination of domestic reforms and NAFTA-related growth in Mexico will keep more Mexicans at home.
It is likely that a reduction in immigration will increase the real wages of low-skilled urban and rural workers in the United States."
(Administration Statement, THE NAFTA: Expanding U.S. Exports, Jobs and Growth, July, 1993)
"It is a commonplace of American life that immigrants have made our country great and continue to make a very important contribution to the fabric of American life. But...under the pressures we face today, we can't afford to lose control of our borders, or to take on new financial burdens, at a time when we are not adequately providing for the jobs, the health care, and the education of our own people. Therefore, immigration must be a priority for this administration."
(Christian Science Monitor, June 21, 1993)
Statement before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Citizenship Washington, DC September 21, 2004
Cuellar, Henry — "Virtual" border control
"At the current rate of 28 miles of SBInet [Secure Border Initiative network] technology every 4.5 years, it would take 320 years — or until the year 2330 — to deploy SBInet technology across the Southwest border. That statistic would be comical if the subject matter were not so serious."
(Testimony before the House Subcommittees on Management, Investigations, and Oversight; and Border, Maritime, and Global Counterterrorism, March 18, 2010.)
Dewey, Arthur E
Assistant Secretary of Population, Refugees, and Migration
"The rest of the world combined takes less than half as many refugees as the U.S. does; this year, some 20-25,000 vice 53,000 for the United States."
(As a presidential candidate in Glenwood Iowa, Oct. 14, 1999)
Q: Would you favor a temporary slowdown so that newcomers could be more completely assimilated, or do you feel that's not necessary?
Dole's Answer:, "It's absolutely the wrong signal, I think, to those who have entered this country legally or those who may be considering illegal immigration for a lot of benefits to be provided… Emergency medical needs should be met, but otherwise I think send the wrong signal to those who have come into the country legally and those who may be considering illegal immigration. So as you know, I've called for an increase in the border patrol agents. I've looked at that from both the standpoints of drugs and to prevent illegal immigration, but I think that's where the focus should be."
(Washington Times, Oct. 15, 1999)
Former Presidential Candidate & Sen. R-KS
"The California proposition [Prop. 187] is one I would agree with. That's the easiest way to put it."
(Washington Post Oct. 15 1999)
(AP Candidates' Views on Issues)
"As president, I will fight illegal immigration in order to preserve an appropriate level of legal immigration. At the same time, I believe our system of legal immigration needs to be re-examined. As part of this re-examination, I support a modest, temporary reduction in the annual rate of legal immigration."
(Sept. 12, 1996)
"A family from Mexico who arrived here this morning, legally, has as much right to the American dream as the direct descendants of the founding fathers. ... when the blood of the sons of immigrants and the grandsons of slaves fell on foreign fields, it was American blood. In it you could not read the ethnic particulars of the soldier who died next to you. He was an American. And when I think of how we learned this lesson, I wonder [how] we could have unlearned it." (from Republican National Convention acceptance speech,
(The San Diego Union-Tribune, August 16, 1996)
"Merely presenting a driver's license or other document based on a birth certificate is not enough for an accurate verification. Biometric verification of identity must be made and then a data base of those persons who have legal status must be checked."
(Congressional Record, pp. S17325-34, Oct. 21, 1988)
"I am concerned about the H-1B visa program as it is currently structured. I am afraid it is being abused by foreign companies to deprive qualified Americans of good jobs. … H-1B supporters claim we need more H-1B visas to stop American jobs from being outsourced. That was the logic behind H-1B visas. It appears the opposite is true. Under the current system, more H-1B visas will mean more outsourcing. … Some companies that abuse the H-1B visa program are so brazen, they say "no Americans need apply" in their job advertisements. Hundreds of such ads have been posted on line. They say things such as "H-1B visa holders only" or "we require candidates for H-1B from India." … There is another serious problem with the H-1B visa program. Federal oversight is virtually nonexistent."
(Congressional Record, May 8, 2007)
Echaveste, Maria — Illegal Workers and Economic Conditions
Former Administrator Wages and Hours Division,
Dept. of Labor on Illegal Immigration
"I know firsthand that many employers who comply with other labor standards still hire the undocumented. Many businesses pay the minimum wage and have barely tolerable working conditions because there are sufficient undocumented workers willing to accept those terms. If we care about low-income workers in this country, we need to create pressure to improve their economic condition by reducing the supply of unauthorized workers."
("Target Employers," American Prospect, October 23, 2005)
Exon, J. James
Former Sen. D-NB
"Where I come from, taxpayers get justifiably upset that illegals can keep getting aid when we are cutting programs that help full-fledged U.S. citizens."
(Washington Post, March 28, 1994)
"I believe the Visa Waiver Program, it essentially is the soft underbelly of the visa system. Now we have 35 countries in it. We have 16 million people coming in. I believe the overstays still run about 40 percent of the undocumented population. In other words, there's 40 percent that you really don't know where it came from is what I'm trying to say. And I've always suspected people come in on a visitor's visa and they just decide to stay, and that's a large part of the undocumented population."
(Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Dec. 9, 2009)
"It's a myth that the border can't be enforced. It can be enforced."
(Migration News, October 1999)
(On secure ID - in the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1996): "Gentlemen, as sure as I'm sitting here now, the result of continuation of a non-system, the ostrich-like head-in-the-sand attitude, the constant rejection of any efforts to solve this problem, will produce an Armageddon in the American population in those states where there is a big problem."
(San Diego Union-Tribune, Nov. 3, 1997)
Gingrich, Newt — Amnesty
Former House Speaker, Presidential Candidate 2011
"I do not believe that the people of the United States are going to take people who have been here a quarter century, who have children and grandchildren, who are members of the community, who may have done something 25 years ago, separate them from their families, and expel them."
(Transcript presidential debate on November 25, 2011, ABC News)
(town meeting in Atlanta suburb of Smyrna)
"The idea that the United States can't guard its own border is silly. It's a sign that were not serious about this." [federal mandates should be streamlined so that state governments won't have to take care of] "...people who legally shouldn't be here. When the state is forced to take care of them - for example, if they have an illegal alien in their prison - the federal government should pay for it. If Washington has to pay for it, Washington's going to more rapidly understand why we have to take some necessary steps." (Reuter, Feb. 5 1995)
Giuiliani, Rudolph W.
Former Mayor NYC
"Immigrants are exactly what America needs. They're what we need economically, and I think they're what we need morally... [They] revitalize America and get it back to its sense of confidence... All of these immigrants that come here help us with the work they do, they challenge us with new ideas and new perspectives, and they give us perspective..."
(The New York Times, October 1, 1996)
"Some of the hardest-working and most productive people in this city are undocumented aliens. If you come here and you work hard and you happen to be in an undocumented status, you're one of the people who we want in this city. You're somebody that we want to protect, and we want you to get out from under what is often a life of being like a fugitive, which is really unfair."
(The New York Times, June 10, 1994, p.Ai)
Former Vice President
"I support our current legal immigration system..."
(Associated Press, Jan. 14, 2000)
"We share a 2,000-mile boundary with Mexico and a common concern to stem the flow of illegal immigrants to America. We must have secure borders and strong border control. We must return illegal aliens to their homes, especially criminal aliens."
(Town hall meeting, Aug. 27, 1999)
"Unless we find a way to dramatically change our civilization and our way of thinking about the relationship between humankind and the earth, our children will inherit a wasteland."
(Earth in the Balance, Ecology and the Human Spirit, 1992)
Gramm, Phil — Amnesty for illegal aliens
Former Sen. R-TX
[referring to himself] "…there is at least one Member of the Senate who is never going to grant amnesty for illegal aliens…"
"…we will not grant amnesty to illegal aliens in this Congress or, hopefully ever again. We did that once. Everybody said it was a one time deal. We were to never do it again. The problem with doing it was we reward people who violated the law. We reward people who came into the country illegally."
"Granting amnesty to people who broke the law penalizes the millions of people who are waiting to come to America legally."
(Congressional Record, Oct. 27, 2000)
Grassley, Charles E.
Senator — (R-IA)
On 1965 IRCA amnesty — "You know what I found out? You reward illegality and you get more of it. So that's why I can't be for amnesty again, or somebody's going to say, 'Grassley, can't you learn from your mistakes?' And I can learn from my mistakes." (National Journal, March 14, 2012)
On H-1B Visa — "The H-1B program was never meant to replace qualified American workers. It was meant to complement them because of a shortage of workers in specialized fields. In tough economic times like we're seeing, it's even more important that we do everything possible to see that Americans are given every consideration when applying for jobs." (e-week.com, Dec. 28, 2009)
On Illegal Immigration — "I thought then  that taking care of three million people illegally in the country would solve the problem once and for all. I found out, however, if you reward illegality, you get more of it. Today, as everybody has generally agreed, we have 12 million people here illegally."(New York Times, June 12, 2007)
Greenspan, Alan — Don't protect U.S. workers
Former Chair Federal Reserve Board
"Skilled shortages in America exist because we are shielding our skilled labor force from world competition. [Visa quotas] have been substituted for the wage pricing mechanism. In the process we have created [a] privileged elite whose incomes are being supported at non-competitively high levels by immigration quotas on skilled professionals. Eliminating such restrictions would reduce at least some of the income inequality."
(Computerworld, April 30, 2009)
"The only sustainable way to increase demand for vacant houses is to spur the formation of new households. Admitting more skilled immigrants, who tend to earn enough to buy homes, would accomplish that while paying other dividends to the U.S. economy."
(New York Sun, August 18, 2008)
"Significantly opening up immigration to skilled workers solves two problems. The companies could hire the educated workers they need. And those workers would compete with high-income people, driving more income equality."
(Dallas Morning News, February 14, 2008)
Gutierrez, Luis — Advocacy for Immigrants
"I have only one loyalty and that's to the immigrant community."
(Newsweek, November 29, 2010)
Huntsman, Jon — Border Security
Form. Gov. Utah, Form. Amb. to China, Presidential Candidate 2011
"When elected president, I'm simply going to prove to the American people that we can secure the border. That's what they want done. And I'm not going to talk about anything else until we get it done. Secure the border. Eighteen hundred miles, we've got a third of it done, between fencing and technology and National Guard boots on the ground. We can finish. And I will talk to the four border state governors and get verification from them that, in fact, we've secured the border. And once that is done, then we can move on. But this discussion has zero in the way of any intellectual credibility until such time as we secure the border."
(transcript debate in Iowa August 11, 2011)
Former Chair U.S. Commission on Immigration. Reform & Rep. D-TX
(Address to United We Stand, America Conf., Dallas)
"For our immigration policy to make sense, it is necessary to make distinctions between those who obey the law, and those who violate it."
"Americanization means the process of becoming an American. It means civic incorporation, becoming a part of the polity — becoming one of us. But that does not mean conformity. We are more than a melting pot, we are a kaleidoscope, where every turn of history refracts new light on the old promise."
(Aug. 12, 1995)
"The Commission endorses prevention as the principal strategy to use in deterring illegal entries. We applaud the efforts of innovative Border Patrol leaders such as Silvestre Reyes with Operation Hold the Line in El Paso. Operation Hold the Line demonstrated that a strategic use of personnel and technology can combine at our land border, as it has for many years at our airports, to reduce unauthorized crossings."
"The Commission agrees that the federal government should help alleviate these costs. The best way to do so is to reduce illegal immigration.... We recommend immediate reimbursement of criminal justice costs, because these conditions can now be met, but we urge further study of the costs of health care and education before impact aid is provided."
"Credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one sentence: Those who should get in, get in; those who should be kept out, are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave." "...for the system to be credible, people actually have to be deported at the end of the process."
"...we must face the fact that unilateral action on the part of the United States will never be enough to stop illegal immigration. Immigrants come here illegally from source countries where conditions prevail that encourage or even compel them to leave. Attacking the causes of illegal migration is essential and will require international cooperation."
(Feb. 24, 1995 Testimony to House Imm. Subcommittee)
(On immigration reform)
[It is] "one of the most complex and emotional issues of out time."
(Associated Press, Oct. 8, 1994)
(On the CIR recommendation for implementing ID screening for new hires to make sanctions effective against illegal immigration)
"I spent my entire career trying to protect the Constitution, the civil rights and the civil liberties of American citizens and people who are here lawfully. I, as chair of this commission, would not be a party to any system that I felt was an unpardonable intrusion into the private lives of people. If I felt that what we are recommending would be such an intrusion I can assure you that recommendation would never have seen the light of day, not even as a pilot program."
(Los Angeles Times, Aug. 4, 1994)
"One thing is very clear: Illegal immigrants are not entitled to benefits."
"We can certainly defuse the intensity of the anti-immigrant feeling if we can bring some reality to the discussion by showing that they are not using that many resources."
"I do not bring any professional knowledge of the issue to bear, but what I do bring to my consideration of immigration is a deepened and highly sensitized feeling with those persons who feel alien in our country. I can feel the strangeness they feel because it is something I have experienced in a different area."
(Washington Post, April 13, 1994)
Kelly, Sharon Pratt
Former Mayor Washington, D.C.
(Testimony in 1991 to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission on DC rioting)
"The frustrations have been festering for 12 years because federal policy has forced immigration into this area with no programs to accommodate this thrust and no dollars for education or jobs or social services...we have become a repository but no beneficiary of federal actions."
Former vice presidnetial. candidate &
Sen. R-NY & Co-Dir., Empower America
(On the campaign trail in Mesilla NM)
"We are going to make sure that America is open to legal immigration because that is wealth and the talent and the entrepreneurial skills for the 21st Century."
(Reuter, Oct. 24, 1996)
(With William J. Bennet, Co-Directors of Empower America)
"We are all the sons or daughters of immigrants — some more recent than others — but all dedicated to the triumph of an idea that serves as the touchstone of what it means to be an American. This America is the only America that we have hitherto known — if being conservative has anything to do with conserving the principles of our past, then no conservative has any business bashing legal immigration."
(Forward to Employment-Based Immigration and High Technology: Issues and Recommendations, Feb. 1996)
Kennan, George F.
Former Career Ambassador
"...there is an optimal balance, depending on the manner of man's life, between the density of human population and the tolerances of nature. This balance, in the case of the United States would seem to me to have been surpassed when the American population reached, at a very maximum, two hundred million people, and perhaps a good deal less."
"This is a big world. Billions — rapidly increasing billions — of people live outside our borders. Obviously, a great number of them, being much poorer than they think most of us are, look enviously over those borders and would like, if they could, to come here."
"It is obviously easier, for the short run, to draw cheap labor from adjacent pools of poverty...than to find it among one's own people. And to the millions of such prospective immigrants from poverty to prosperity, there is, rightly or wrongly, no place that looks more attractive than the United States. Given its head, and subject to no restrictions, this pressure will find its termination only when the levels of overpopulation and poverty in the United States are equal to those of the countries from which these people are now so anxious to escape."
"Actually, the inability of any society to resist immigration, the inability to find other solutions to the problem of employment at the lower, more physical, and menial levels of the economic process, is a serious weakness, and possibly even a fatal one, in any national society. The fully healthy society would find ways to meet those needs out of its own resources." (citing Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France)
(Around the Cragged Hill, 1993)
Former Sen. D-MA
"We should strengthen our immigration laws to prevent the importation of foreign wages and working conditions. We should make it illegal for employers to lay off Americans and then fill their jobs by bringing in workers from overseas. Any U.S. employer who wishes to hire from abroad — even for temporary jobs — should have to recruit U.S. workers first. And we should end the unskilled immigration that competes with young Americans just entering the job market."
(Address, Center for National Policy, Feb. 8, 1996)
"Legal immigrants play by the rules and come in under the law. They work, raise their families, pay taxes, and serve in the Armed Forces. ... Legal immigrants do not seek to cross the border, or overstay their visas. They come here the right way. ... And, by and large, they are here as the result of reunifying families..."
(Senate floor debate on the Immigration bill, April 29, 1996)
Kennedy, John F.
Former President, Rep. D-MA, Sen. D-MA
"There is, of course, a legitimate argument for some limitation upon immigration. We no longer need settlers for virgin lands, and our economy is expanding more slowly than in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries."
(A Nation of Immigrants, 1964)
King, Rev. Martin Luther — on overpopulation
"Unlike plagues of the dark ages or contemporary diseases we do not yet understand, the modern plague of overpopulation is soluble by means we have discovered and resources we possess. What is lacking is not knowledge of the solution, but the universal consciousness of the gravity of the problem and education of the billions who are its victims."
(May 5, 1966 speech responding to an award by the Planned Parenthood Federation, delivered on his behalf by Mrs. Coretta Scott King)
King, Steve — La Raza is racist
Rep. R-IA Ranking member Immigration Subcmte
(re National Council on La Raza)
"La Raza stands for 'The Race' — and they say so openly. They are a pro-Hispanic organization; I will call them a racist organization. They base their philosophy on race. They advocate for those minorities that fit within the category that they define as drives them. They are apologists for illegal immigrants — and we are funding them with your tax dollars in this administration through earmarks. It is outrageous. It's an in-your-face act on the part of this Congress."
(The One News Now, March 6, 2009)
Klink, U.S. Rep. Ron — on H-1B visas
Ranking Member, Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation
"I know that H-1B workers are too often high-tech braceros, with their destiny in the U.S. completely in the hands of their sponsoring employers. This can, and does, lead to abuse."
(Testimony, House Subcommittee on Immigration, 21 April 1998)
Former Mayor of NYC
"The President [President Obama in a July 1, 2010 speech] glosses over the fact that if we are not able to police our borders, as soon as the current 11 million illegals are given amnesty, a new crop of illegals will be walking across our borders. Is the President saying that once the 11 million are given amnesty, we will find a way to stop a new wave of illegals? If so, why not find and impose that way now?
...The Obama administration knows that the American public is against the reforms that President Obama is proposing as they were against them when President George W. Bush proposed them, and the American public defeated two efforts by the Bush administration and Congress to implement those so-called reforms. Why is President Obama losing political popularity, and why is the Congress held in such low regard? The contempt of the public on this issue towards the efforts of both the President and the Congress to impose their will on an unwilling public has added strength to the coming November debacle for the Democratic Party. ...President Obama, please rethink your policy toward the Arizona law and all issues related to illegal immigration. It is not too late to step away from the abyss."
(Commentary, July 13, 2010, Real Clear Politics)
(commenting on remarks by Mayor Giulliani)
"...the mayor should not be advancing a policy that encourages [illegal] immigrants to think of New York City as their safe haven."
(New York Post, June 17, 1994)
"Like many others, I'm deeply sympathetic to the huge numbers of people looking to come here today to escape suffering and poverty in their own lands. But as a country, we cannot afford to have a total open-door policy without any restrictions on entry.
"...what about the millions of poor in this country who desperately need assistance and services to help bring them out of poverty? Shall they go to the back of the line? and shall those who have made a dramatic illegal entry, who would normally not be entitled to government assistance, or even entry itself, be put at the front?
"The Chinese describe themselves as political refugees. Many base that claim on China's strict population laws, which allow them to have only one child. But if we accept them as bona fide political refugees for that reason, doesn't it follow that people living in countries where abortion is illegal (such as Ireland and Poland) should also receive political asylum? After all, their country's policy is forcing them to give birth to unwanted children.
"Many of the self-described "political refugees" who come here make stopovers in other countries on their way to the U.S., in places where they would be free to have as many children as they want. But they choose to continue on to the U.S. Why? Because it is more economically attractive."
"Unless they can immediately demonstrate a credible fear of persecution, why shouldn't these people be returned at once to the country from which they embarked — whether it be their home country or a stopover point — at the expense of the airline that brought them? All appeals would then be made from the country to which they have been returned."
(New York Daily News, column June 18, 1993)
Lamm, Richard "Dick"
Former governor CO
"The U.S. Labor Department estimates that we will create 18 million new jobs in the 1990s. We already have 8.5 million unemployed (with tens of millions more outside the labor market) and 3.5 million Americans turn 18 every year, approximately 35 million in the decade of the 1990s. About 80 percent of adults in the United States enter the labor force. Now with 28 million young people looking for jobs (80 percent to 35 million) and at least 8.5 million already unemployed — does it make sense to bring in 10 million additional legal immigrants — to a country that anticipates creating only 18 million new jobs?
"The biggest challenge of public policy is to know when and how the world has changed. We are no longer an empty continent with endless absorptive capacity. We have a cash-wage economy that is having terrible problems finding jobs for its own people. The concern about immigration is not nativism but common sense."
(Letter to editor, The New Republic, Jan. 31, 1994)
Mazzoli, Rep. Romano L.
Former Rep. D-TN & Chair of House Immigration Subcommittee.
"We will never regain control of our borders until we have an effective employer sanctions program,"
(Refugee Reports, Sept. 26, 1994 -p. 1292)
"The refugee resettlement program is a kind of worldwide business. There is pressure to keep the numbers up even as you are struggling with the people who do come in."
(Refugee Reports, Sept. 30, 1993)
"Our asylum system is sick."
(Los Angeles Times, July 19, 1993 -p.1)
Former INS Commissioner
(In the context of the Dec. 1998 draft 'interior enforcement strategy' 5-yr. plan)
"There is a much stronger political consensus about border enforcement than there is about the way enforcement should be done away from the border."
(Rural Migration News, Jan. 1999)
"As a democracy, the U.S. will never engage in the stringent, largely police methods needed to deter illegal immigration altogether. We're talking about the most fundamental human motivation that exists, which is to eat and support your family, to survive and have a future."
(San Francisco Chronicle, October 13, 1998)
"We should reduce the overall numbers of legal immigrants, and we must do so in a way that supports American workers and promotes family reunification for U.S. citizens who are the beneficiaries of the legal immigration system. We are here to build on the fundamental principle that guides the nation's immigration policy: toughen enforcement against illegal immigration, and promote the benefits of balanced levels of legal immigration."
(Testimony to House Imm. Sbcte,. Jan. 13. 1995)
"After years in which fraudulent asylum claims were routinely used as a backdoor way to enter the United States, the Immigration and Naturalization Service finally has sufficient staff and resources to stop the abuse and ensure that legitimate asylum-seekers no longer pay the price for those who seek to misuse the system."
(Washington Post, July 9, 1995)
"Two years ago, the President made a decision that the fight against illegal immigration and the effort to promote legal migration would be a top Clinton Administration priority. We recognized that real policy solutions to a growing number of immigration problems had not been considered in any significant way in literally years....26 months ago, we found that previoous administrations had swung the gates to the border wide open. And the INS did not have the resources to close them shut."
(Testimony to House Subcommittee on Immigration, Mar. 10, 1995)
"You have to have a credible deterrent at the workplace." "There are multiple databases off of which the user can get one answer. But the managers of the databases — the government, the agencies that are responsible for them — do not have all of the linkages." [Re employer sanctions budget being cut back severely when the overall budget increased by 25%] "I think that is because there is no real system that people believe in — politicians or employers — for doing employer sanctions appropriately. That gets to the issue of identifiers and the degree to which we have a better way for employers to know who is legally in the country and who they are allowed to employ. That, I think, is going to be a huge debate in the Congress." "You cannot have meaningful employer sanctions without either a tamperproof document of some kind, or a system that approximates that. In other words, some kind of a computerized call-in system, some way for an employer to verify [whether a person is in the country legally] without being subject to discrimination charges." "[workplace control] really is the way to deal with [the problem]"
(Los Angeles Times, Jan. 10, 1995 p.1)
[Further on employer sanctions] "...the lure of jobs remains the single most compelling incentive for illegal immigration. And concentrating enforcement on those who employ illegal workers is the best way to counteract the 'pull' forces within the country that encourage illegal immigration."
[On Asylum] "Our current asylum system represents the weakest link in the chain of challenges we face today....only one-third of asylum cases even reach the interview stage."
(Testimony on June 23, 1994 to Senate Appropriations Cte.)
"This [immigration] is a big societal issue and it is fair game to assess it and make recommendations for change, but it needs to be thought through and there's nothing wrong in taking a year or two to do that."
(Washington Post, March 28, 1994)
"The problem we have faced in recent years is that people with no legitimate claim to asylum are applying in record numbers, some brought by smugglers, some using fake documents, and some overstaying the visas granted to them as visitors."
Washington Post, March 30, 1994, p.A4)
"The failure to deport has to do with all kinds of built-in difficulties in the system. It's the deportation process that needs to be scrutinized...I place a lot of importance on the automation agenda as a means to overcoming many difficulties that are chronic...I think we can do a lot to discourage illegal immigration. It takes a variety of measures — effective border controls, workplace enforcement, effective visa measures. I don't think you will eliminate it as long as we are a very rich country and many other countries are poor and violent."
(Miami Herald, part 7, "Reform" Nov. 1993)
"I don't see a fundamental or inherent contradiction between enforcement activities and service activities in INS. All the activities defined as either enforcement or service are points on a continuum; they are all efforts to regulate immigration."
(On-the-record Press Roundtable Meeting, Oct. 29, 1993)
"I think that immigration is becoming a crucial issue in Federal-state relations."
[Re Operation Blockade in El Paso] "...the strategy of trying to use resources in the most effective way, and with an eye toward preventing entry as the ultimate objective, is something we're going to be looking at very closely."
"We have to focus on the practical effects of what we do on the border, to be more aware of the impact of our enforcement measures on the border communities. I'd like us to put more effort in evaluating the effects of these kinds of experiments to get some notion of what the proper balance of enforcement is."
[Re employer sanctions] "I do think it's important as far as immigration is concerned to have some kind of workplace enforcement, whether or not employer sanctions is the proper formula."
[On asylum] "The problem with the asylum system now is that we're interviewing only about one-third of those who apply. Many of them never really get into the system at all; they get put into the backlog from the start. That makes no sense because the ones who really need refugee protection aren't getting it, and the ones who get work permits are getting them for the wrong reasons, and we have a system that invites its own abuses...if we can get current with receipts-and by that we mean a decision within six months of filing-that will begin to discourage the frivolous applications."
"Unregulated and emergency migrations bespeak a loss of control. They challenge the capacity of governments to uphold basic sovereignty, in this case the choice of who resides in one's own country."
(Foreign Policy, "Managing Migrations", Spring 1989, - pp. 62-83)
Miller, Candice S.
"Without taking enforcement actions against all criminal aliens, programs such as Secure Communities may result in large numbers of identified criminal aliens being released back into the society which, of course, is an unacceptable outcome for our communities.” (Hearing Transcript, House committee on Homeland Security, subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, July 10, 2012)
Former Sen. R-GA
"While we are tightening security, we need to face the reality of dealing with the more than ten million illegal aliens in our country. Each year, 400,000 are entering our country. This is a huge and dangerous problem and no one in a position to do anything about it wants to do anything about it. Not the executive branch, not the legislative branch, not diplomats, not business, not labor, not educators, not farmers, not religious leaders, and especially not Democratic or Republican lawmakers. It is a bipartisan dereliction of duty. No one wants to do anything because no one wants to lose a few votes. It has become a high stakes contest between the leaders of both parties to see which one can pander the most. They should muster up the will to send illegal aliens back to where they came from. Instead both parties stumble all over themselves to grant amnesty."
(A National Party No More, p.157, Atlanta 2003)
Moynihan, Daniel P.
Former Sen. D-NY
"...there is simply nothing so important to a people and its government as how many of them there are, whether their number is growing or declining, how they are distributed as between different ages, sexes, and different social classes and racial and ethnic groups, and again, which way these numbers are moving."
(Washington Post, "Defenders and Invaders" June 13, 1997, p.16)
Napolitano, Janet — National security
Secty. Dept. Homeland Security, Former Gov. AZ
[Operation Streamline is a program of prosecuting illegal aliens apprehended by the Border Patrol in five sectors of the U.S.-Mexican border begun under the Bush Administration.]
"I believe that Streamline should be part of our toolbox of things that we use at the border. And there needs to be a variety of things that we use at the border to get the most effective enforcement strategy. And so really it's a resource issue more than anything else."
(Congressional testimony to Senate Judiciary Committee, April 27, 2010)
"It is fair to say there are individuals in the United States who ascribe to al-Qaeda-type beliefs." ... [Responding to a question about not being able to identify visa overstayers in the United States] "Such a system would be very, very expensive and laborious to have, given the kinds of border we have. Scientists and engineers aren't even sure they have the technology to make it work"
(Bloomberg News, October 12, 2009)
[On E-Verify] "It's all about who gets to work and making sure they're legally present in our country. And to do that nationally E-verify becomes a key component. It certainly needs to available, effective and as inexpensive as possible and that employer needs to use it as a tool. Some of the arguments that are made about how it works or does not work don't carry much water with me. I've already used it for several years. It works."
(Gannet News Service at DailyRecord.com March 31, 2009)
Nelson, Alan C.
Former INS Commissioner
"From my experience as U.S. Immigration Commissioner, to stop illegal immigration we must pursue a combination of efforts to stop the magnets of jobs and benefits, strengthen border enforcement, and improve the public resolve not to tolerate illegal immigration."
(Policy Review, February 1995 (p. 92)
Former Sen. D-WI & Gov. WI
"The bigger the population gets, the more serious the problems become... We have to address the population issue. The United Nations, with the U.S. supporting it, took the position in Cairo in 1994 that every country was responsible for stabilizing its own population. It can be done. But in this country, it's phony to say 'I'm for the environment but not for limiting immigration.'"
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, April 22, 2001
"As far as I know, most organizations are avoiding population issues because they're politically frightened by the charge that comes from some proponents of immigration that if you oppose the immigration policy we have now, you're a racist.. There is no way in the world we can forge a sustainable society without stabilizing the population. ... There's no practical way of stabilizing the population of the U.S. without reducing the immigration rate. When do we decide we have to do something, or do we wait until things are as bad here as they are in the countries people want to leave?"
Newhouse News Service, May 21, 2001
"All nations are degrading and consuming their environment to a point beyond capacity. In the past 15 years in the U.S. we have added 1300 cities with populations over 100,000. When the environment is forced to file Chapter 11, the ecology collapses. Nations recover from war but not from a failed eco-system. The status of our environment is more threatening than all wars. It is forever."
Conference on Immigration, Nov. 5, 1993
"In 1917 the total number of Americans passed 100 million, after three full centuries of steady growth. In 1967 — just half a century later — the 200 million mark was passed. If the present rate of growth continues, the third hundred million persons will be added in roughly a thirty-year period. This means that by the year 2000, or shortly thereafter, there will be more than 300 million Americans.
The growth will produce serious challenges for out society. I believe that many of our present social problems may be related to the fact that we have had only fifty years in which to accommodate the second hundred million Americans..."
("Special Message to the U.S. Congress on Problems of Population Growth," July 18, 1969)
Obama, Barack — Bring in more foreign workers
President, Former Sen. D-IL
"The time to fix our broken immigration system is now... We need stronger enforcement on the border and at the workplace... But for reform to work, we also must respond to what pulls people to America... Where we can reunite families, we should. Where we can bring in more foreign-born workers with the skills our economy needs, we should."
(Statement on U.S. Senate Floor, May 23, 2007)
Former Dir. of. OMB & Rep. D-CA
"In the zero-sum budget game, every dollar spent on this problem [illegal immigration] must be taken from somewhere else....No, we should not tolerate people immigrating illegally. But we need to treat this issue honestly and fairly."
(San Jose Mercury News, [AOL June 7, 1994 05:39:55 EDT])
Paul, Ron — Illegal Aliens
U.S. Rep. R-Tex., Presidential Candidate 2011
"If you care about your personal liberty, you'll be cautious when you feel comfortable, blame all the illegal immigrants for everything. What you need to do is attack their benefits: no free education, no free subsidies, no citizenship, no birthright citizenship."
(Orlando debate transcript September 22, 2011)
Perot, H. Ross
Former Presidential Candidate, Reform Party
"We must return immigration to a logical, orderly process where people fill out their applications and wait for approval. We must make sure illegal immigrants stop storming our borders. We must establiesh the correct criteria, such as our need for certain job skills or education, for granting the right to immigrate into the United States."
(Candidates' Views on Issues, Associated Press Sept. 12, 1996
Perry, Rick — Amnesty
Gov. Texas, Presidential Candidate 2011
Illegal alien unaccompanied minor — "I mean, these are kids that are getting on rail cars, riding the top of rail cars all the way up through Mexico. I mean, the danger that they're put in, the sexual assaults that are occurring — I mean, all of this is a great consternation, I think, for any of us. But when they come here and then they're dumped on our cities and our counties and our state is expected to pick up the costs, there's a point in time where you say, 'Quit giving these individuals incentives to come up and then be resettled in the United States'. That's the real issue for me.” (Fox News, transcript May 08, 2012)
"My policy will be to detain and deport every illegal alien who is apprehended in this country. And we'll do it with an expedited hearing process so that millions of illegal aliens are not released into the general population with some hearing date down the road."
(Reuters, Nov. 29, 2011)
"We have to identify everybody that's here, and there's going to be an appropriate discussion in Congress on how to deal with an individual who has been here maybe for some long period of time. Amnesty is not on the table period. There will be no amnesty in the United States. We're a country of law and the idea that we're going to tell people that somehow or another that that's all forgiven is not going to happen. How we deal with them is a conversation. I don't know if I know all the answers. I want to talk to the American people."
(ABC News, November 29, 2011)
"With regards to illegal immigration, of course we build a fence and of course we do not give instate tuition credits to people who come here illegally. That only attracts people to come here and take advantage of America's great beneficence. And with regards to giving driver's licenses to people that are here illegally, that creates a patina of legal status. There are sanctuary cities in some parts of the country. One of the things I did in my state was to say, look, I'm going to get my state police authorized to be able to enforce immigration laws and make sure those people who we arrest are put in jail, to find out they're here illegally, we're going to get them out of here."
(Debate transcript, September 12, 2011)
CA Assemblyman D-LA
"Nobody here's for open borders. When undocumented people are apprehended, they should be sent back to wherever they came from."
(Los Angeles Times, May 27 1993, p.B1)
Census Bureau Dir.
"One thing that's really interesting is not only the magnitude of the recent immigration into this country, but also its distribution and its investment in the country. About 9.3 percent of the population is now foreign-born [announced by the Census Bureau at over 10 percent a few days later]. What's really surprising is how well distributed those population groups are. Historically, we see new immigrants primarily on the coast and in a few big cities. I think the data are going to show a much wider distribution of the new population groups than we've experienced historically."
(USA Today, Dec. 12, 2000)
Rangel, Rep. Charles B.
"You know all of this business about jobs that no American wants to do I was telling one of the Cabinet officials just a couple of hours ago, I was in New York during the summer, saw these sanitation workers with all of this garbage. It was really the type of job I would think no American would want. A sewer pipe broke all over the New York subways and they said it would take a whole day for guys to do what I would think no American would want to do. You pay American workers, give them health care and a pension, believe me, we don't need people coming in to do jobs that Americans will do if the pay was right. …This guest worker program's the closest thing I've ever seen to slavery."
(Transcript of Congressman Charlie Rangel on Lou Dobbs Tonight, January 23, 2007)
Former President, Gov. CA
"But the simple truth is that we've lost control of our own borders, and no nation can do that and survive."
(News conference, June 14, 1984 per Reagan Presidential Library)
"The ongoing migration of persons to the United States in violation of our laws is a serious national problem detrimental to the interests of the United States."
(Presidential Proclamation 4865, September 29, 1981)
"Our country and state have a special obligation to work toward the stabilization of our own population so as to credibly lead other parts of the world toward population stabilization." ([while California Governor] Hearings before Subcommittee on Census and Population, 1974)
Reich, Robert — H-1B workers
Former Secretary of Labor
"Supporters of this fundamental change in immigration policy say we need to import more well-educated talent if we're to stay competitive. But exactly whose competitiveness are we talking about? Not the competitiveness of, say, American-born computer engineers. Adjusted for inflation, their earnings haven't gone anywhere in years. That's in part because American companies have been sending so much of their high-tech work abroad. Bringing more foreign-born engineers here under an expanded H1-B visa program, or a point system for that matter, will just depress wages even further.
… You'd expect any shortage of talent in America would force companies here to raise salaries sufficiently to induce enough Americans to get the skills in demand. Yet if those companies are allowed to import more high-tech workers, they won't need to raise American salaries. Which means fewer young Americans will be attracted into these careers, thereby creating a self-fulfilling prophecy of too few native-born Americans to fill them." (NPR Marketplace, June 6, 2007)
"It has become increasingly evident that the H-1B program is being utilized by some as the basis for building businesses which are dependent on the labors of foreign workers, in some cases in unfair competition with U.S. workers and those U.S. businesses that employ mostly domestic workers."
(Testimony before the Subcommittee on Immigration of the Senate Judiciary Committee, U.S. Senate Hearing, September 28, 1995.)
"We have seen numerous instances in which American businesses have brought in foreign skilled workers after having laid off skilled American workers, simply because they can get the foreign workers more cheaply. It has become a major means of circumventing the costs of paying skilled American workers or the costs of training them." ("White-Collar Visas: Back Door for Cheap Labor?" Washington Post,, October 21, 1995.)
Reid, Harry — Reduce immigration, legal and illegal
"Our doors should remain open, but only wide enough to admit those to whom we can realistically offer opportunity and security. To leave the door unguarded is to create an environment in which no one can live securely and peacefully. And so I am sponsoring a bill in the Senate to reduce immigration-legal and illegal. Most politicians agree that illegal immigration should end. My legislation would double border patrols and accelerate the deportation process for criminals and illegal entrants. But many lawmakers feel that lowering legal immigration is too dicey. This is a cop-out. My legislation calls for a reduction of legal immigrants from the current level of about 1 million admissions a year to approximately 325,000. Even that more realistic level means 25,000 newcomers entering every month, looking for jobs, housing and education.
(Los Angeles Times, August 10, 1994)
"Let's face it.., our current [immigration control] system is like a busy intersection without a traffic cop: sure there are laws on the books, but absent enforcement, there are too many accidents."
"Labor force needs and economic conditions are disregarded in our policies. Many aspects of our current policies and procedures are patently wrong. For example, legal immigration has almost no link to U.S. employment needs or economic conditions."
"Sixty percent of our immigrants are admitted merely because they have relatives here. Many of these people are not immediate relative, but are part of extended families. The nepotistic U.S. policy lets in relatives then lets in the relatives' relatives, and so on, creating an endless and ever growing chain of new immigrants."
"In 1992, the federal Government actually issued more work authorizations to immigrants and temporary foreign workers than the net number of new jobs created by our economy. Something is fundamentally wrong when we have millions of American citizens and legal residents begging for jobs, and yet we are admitting thousands and thousands of immigrants a year with virtually no consideration to our employment needs or their employment skills."
(Congressional Record, — on Senate floor March 10, 1994)
"Congressional mistakes have dramatically increased immigration through a series of what I believe were ill-advised actions going back to 1965 when the basic notions of our immigration laws were revised. In 1990, Congress opened the floodgates by passing a 35-percent increase in legal immigration."
("Reid Bill Dramatically Cuts Legal Immigration," Immigration Report, FAIR April 1994)
"...I believe that it is not enough, as I said, to tinker at the margins of U.S. immigration law... the United States must institute comprehensive reforms that conform to the realities of the era in which we live."
(Congressional Record, — on Senate floor on Sept. 20, 1993)
Former Atty. Gen.
"We are trying to identify employers that might be [hiring illegal aliens] and to take effective action against them. We're trying to make sure that employers that want to cooperate have a system whereby they can verify the employment status of a person that they are seeking to hire. It is part of a comprehensive initiative in which we look both at the border, at the workplace, at criminal aliens, in an attempt to have a comprehensive effort aimed at stopping illegal immigration while at the same time promoting legal immigration according to principles of due process."
(Remarks made to the National Federation of Press Women, Washington, D.C., June 11, 1998)
"Based on my experience as a prosecutor in Miami, illegal immigration is one of the most critical issues facing this country. As a prosecutor, I felt the burden of it. I think what's important... is for the state and the federal government and for local governments to work together to do everything possible to control illegal immigration in a comprehensive way."
"This is a serious problem of major concern, and we have got to approach it in a way that is consistent with this nation's tradition as a nation of immigrants, focusing on legal immigration, supporting that in the right way and doing everything possible consistent with the Constitution to control illegal immigration, and we will continue in those efforts."
(Washington Times, Nov. 11, 1994 p.A-15)
"I don't think that the economy can absorb a massive flow of immigration that does not relate to the issue of persecution."
(Associated Press, June 21, 1993)
Romney, Mitt — Amnesty
Former Gov. Mass., Presidential Candidate 2011
"I absolutely believe that those who come here illegally should not be given favoritism or a special route to becoming permanent residents or citizens that's not given to those people that have stayed in line legally. I just think we have to follow the law. I think that's the right course."
(GOP presidential debate January 16, 2012, Los Angeles Times, January 17, 2012)
"I try and make it to the word exactly what I said four years ago and what I said was that those who've come here illegally should not be given a special pathway, a favored pathway to become permanent residents merely by virtue of having come here illegally. That they should be in line with everybody — they should be given the opportunity to get in line with everybody else but they go to the back of the line."
(PBS interview Dec. 19, 2011)
"I want the best and brightest to be metered into the country based upon the needs of our employment sector and create jobs by bringing technology and innovation that comes from people around the world. Look, we — we are a nation of immigrants. We love legal immigration. But for legal immigration to work, we have to secure the border, and we also have to crack down on employers that hire people who are here illegally. I like legal immigration. I'd have the number of visas that we give to people here that come here legally, determined in part by the needs of our employment community. But we have to secure our border and crack down on those that bring folks here and hire here illegally.
(transcript debate in Iowa August 11, 2011)
"When we have had in the past programs that have said that the people who come here illegally are going to get to stay illegally for the rest of their life. That's going to only encourage more people to come here illegally."
(ABC News, Presidential debate transcript November 22, 2011)
Royce, Edward — Terrorist threat
"It's elementary that to defend ourselves against our determined and resourceful enemies, our border must be secure, or in the words of the Border Patrol, we must have 'operational control.' The Border Patrol acknowledges that we don't have this now, which is obvious, especially to those Americans who live in border communities and suffer the consequences of illegal immigration. ...These border vulnerabilities are opportunities for terrorists. ...I don't know how you look at the porous and in some places violent state of the border, including the sophisticated cross-border tunnels that are being dug, without being very concerned."
(Statement at a Subcommittee hearing on "Border Vulnerabilities and International Terrorism," July 5, 2006)
Rubio, Marco — Amnesty and border security
First of all, our point of contention with the president isn't just the border. The main point of contention is that the president says we need to do border security, but it's not a condition for anything else. And my argument is, not only border security, but the visa tracking system and the workplace enforcement is a condition of the green card process even starting. So, while the president is saying he wants to do those things, he doesn't want them to be a condition of the green card process and I insist they must be or there isn't going to be a bill. I define control of the border in a way where you have a very high probability of preventing a crossing or apprehending someone who crosses quickly.
(Human Events, February 4, 2013)
"No. 1, it [amnesty for illegal aliens] demoralizes the people that are going through the legal process. It's a very clear signal that why go through the legal process if you can accomplish the same thing through the illegal process? And No. 2, it demoralizes the people enforcing the law. So I am not and I will never support — never have and never will support — any effort to grant blanket legalization amnesty to folks who have entered or stayed in this country illegally."
(Stated in March 2009 as cited in Washington Post January 29, 2013)
"…you're never going to have a legal immigration system that works if you grant amnesty."
"There are going to be stories of very young kids that were brought to this country at a very young age who don't even speak Spanish that are going to be sent back to Nicaragua or some other place. And it's gonna feel weird and I understand that. The goal here is to have an immigration policy that works. And if you provide a path for people to enter this country illegally and if they stay here long enough and pay enough in taxes, well let them stay legally…why would anyone come in through the legal process?"
(Human Events, May 6, 2000)
Schumer, Charles E.
"We've come to a basic agreement, which is that first, people will be legalized. In other words, not citizens, but they'll be allowed to work, come out of the shadows, travel. Then, we will make sure the border is secure. And we have specific metrics that are in the bill. I'm not going to get into what they are..."
(Schumer press release, April 2, 2013)
"No one believed [the 1986 amnesty for illegal aliens] was tough enough on illegal immigration, and it didn't give enough flexibility on future legal immigration."
(Newsday, April 25, 2009)
[Referring to the newly announced asylum reform provisions of INS]
"Unfortunately, the administration's plan is an ounce of cure for a pound of problems."
(Washington Post, Mar. 30, 1994 p.A4)
"Our borders are much too porous...We want to keep them open, but we also have to be much more careful. ...Right now, if you get on an airplane [to the U.S.] and claim asylum...when you arrive at Kennedy Airport in New York, they will say to you, 'OK, we'll give you a hearing on whether you deserve asylum. Show up in a year.' And two-thirds of the people never show up."
(CBS' Face the Nation, Mar. 7, 1993)
"This bill [Immigration Reform and Control act of 1986] is a gamble, a riverboat gamble. There is no guarantee that employer sanctions will work or that amnesty will work. We are headed into uncharted waters." (ABA Journal, January 1, 1987)
Sessions, Jeff — Amnesty legislation and immigrant welfare use
"How can we vote for a bill [S.744] that our own CBO says will reduce average wages in America for 12 years, increase unemployment for 7 years, and reduce per capita GNP growth over 25 years? A bill that will admit 30 million people to permanent legal status in the next 10 years? That will dramatically increase the annual immigration flow, and will double the guest worker flow?"
(Sessions press release, June 27, 2013)
"'This [Gang of Eight bill (S.744)] is far, far too many low-skilled workers that are going to take jobs and pull down wages of people unemployed and underemployed right now."
(The Hill, May 25, 2013)
"We need to be protecting American citizens who are here, out of work, and hurting today—minorities, Blacks and Whites and all colors and races that are hurting today with high unemployment, but we seem to be more focused on how we can ram through this Senate a bill that would legalize millions and create an even more robust guest worker program. There are not enough jobs now. Give me a break."
(Senate floor statement, March 20, 2013)
"Encouraging self-sufficiency must be a bedrock for our immigration policy, with the goal of reducing poverty, strengthening the family, and promoting our economic values. But Administration officials and their policies are working actively against this goal."
(Sessions press release, February 1, 2013)
Former Sen. D-IL
"...what threatens us today in the world of computers and other invasions of privacy is not a national ID card but a number of other things."
(Congressional Record, Sept. 10, 1993)
Former. Sen. R-WY & Chair of House Immigration Subcmte
"Every time one of us starts talking about more effective immigration controls, somebody else throws up the Statue of Liberty, how we're a nation of immigrants and all of that. The debate takes on tinges of racism, emotion."
(New York Times, Sept. 15, 1994)
"It is a travesty, in my mind, for the state and local governments on the one hand to expect the Federal government to reimburse them for costs attributable to illegal immigrants, when on the other hand the State and local governments prohibit their own law enforcement and other officials from cooperating with the Immigration and Naturalization Service to locate or apprehend or expel illegal aliens."
(Congressional Record, Nov. 9, 1993)
"I have carefully reviewed those proposals [of the administration to correct border security and asylum handling procedures], and I believe they constitute a very good start. ...but I see some problems with other aspects of the President's bill. They are not unsolvable problems. But a primary purpose of asylum reform is to eliminate some of the many layers of appeal presently available to an alien claiming asylum. ...The President's proposal — this is the disturbing one to me — would create a new corps of super-asylum review officers, outside of the Immigration Service. I think the Attorney General would like to see — I would — bringing that group back within the Department of Justice."
(Congressional Record, July 30, 1993)
"If we are ever to have effective and nondiscriminatory employer sanctions, we must do something about fraudulent documentation. We must also address the issues of privacy, discrimination, and the burden on employers; but we must do something. ...As we deal with the verification document itself, we must also address the problems with the underlying documents which will undermine the integrity of any new document. We must do something about the myriad of agencies issuing birth certificates, and we must begin to correlate death information with birth information in State vital statistics offices. That will be a long-term project, but it is time that we begin."
(Statement to Roundtable Discussion on "Options for and Improved Employment Verification System," Aug. 11, 1992)
[On employer sanction discrimination] "Nonetheless, GAO's conclusion that employer sanctions had somehow caused employment discrimination was contradicted by GAO's own Chief of Methodology, who criticized the GAO report. ...here is what she said, 'I believe the truth is that we have no strong causal link between IRCA and discrimination, and in [my] view it is just as likely that the discrimination we found has always been there, or that it is spurious, as that IRCA has caused it.'" (Hearing, Senate Immig. Sbcte, April 3, 1992)
"So let us take our fair share of the true refugees and act responsible as a government in providing for their necessary expenses. Let us stop skewing the whole process by taking some folks who are not truly refugees in order simply to meet our foreign policy needs or domestic policy demands. There has to be a better way to meet those needs and demands than we are doing now. I think it is embarrassing to all of us who truly know the mission of the Refugee Act."
(Hearing, Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Sept. 24, 1991)
"We all know that employer sanctions [are] the very key to immigration reform." (131 Congressional Record 23718, 1985)
Rep. R-TX, Former Chair House Immigration Subcommittee
"Gangs are responsible for a large number of the violent crimes committed each year, including homicides. Experts estimate there are more than one million gang members nationwide. … As part of our efforts to prevent violent crime and curb the expansion of gangs in our communities, we need to address the flow of illegal immigration. That's because some of the most dangerous gangs in America today are comprised primarily of illegal immigrants. For example, MS-13 is one of the largest and most violent gangs in the country, active in at least 38 states and boasting approximately 30,000-50,000 members worldwide. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, 90 percent of MS-13 members in the U.S. are illegal immigrants. In California, 80 percent of the gangs' members are illegal immigrants from Mexico and Central America. In Los Angeles, 95 percent of all outstanding warrants for homicides are for illegal immigrants. It is clear that many gangs in the United States are heavily dependent on the recruitment of illegal immigrants. The only way to put gangs out of business is to secure our borders and to facilitate deportations. Such approaches may not solve all our gang problems, but they will go a long way toward solving many of them." (The Hill County Times, June 11, 2008)
[On the AFL-CIO's February 2000 call for an amnesty for illegal aliens.]
"Apparently, union bosses are so distraught about declining enrollments they will stoop to exploiting illegal workers. There is no doubt that this would hurt American workers, who would suddenly face a flooded job market full of cheap foreign labor. It would depress the wages of the American workers and cost them jobs."
(USA Today, March 27, 2000)
"I can't come up with any good reason why they [the INS] would unilaterally disarm."
[The Clinton Administration is taking] a step backward."
"The INS, by their actions, is telling would-be illegal aliens that if you don't get caught entering the U.S., we'll look the other way so you can stay."
"What they are doing is disarming in the battle to stop illegal drugs and illegal aliens."
(Associated Press, "INS Shifts Enforcement Strategy," Mar. 11, 1999)
Tancredo, Thomas "Tom" — "radical multiculturalism"
Former Rep. R-CO & Chair House Immigration. Reform Caucus
"We need a cohesive society. We need a language in which we can all communicate. Even that ... is being challenged continually. Bilingual education, as an example, is where children are placed in classes and taught in a language other than English for the purpose, they say, of increasing their educational attainment levels. But even when it is shown over and over again that there is no actual increase in educational attainment levels, people still push bilingual education. So you have to ask yourself why. What is the purpose? If it is not to actually help a child accomplish something, ... obtain a better education, then why are we doing it? It is, I suggest ... as a result of this radical multiculturalism; the idea that we do not want people to disconnect from that other culture, wherever they came from and what they were, and connect to a new one. We want to foster this Balkanizing sort of phenomenon that we are experiencing in the United States."
(Congressional Record: February 26, 2002, pp. H551-H554)
Former Immigration and Naturalization Service Deputy Commissioner, re IRCA
"I've always said that the 1986 [Immigration Reform and Control] Act had a fourth leg [in addition to law enforcement, increased immigration and amnesty] to its stool which was wishful thinking. And that pattern of a four-legged stool was copied in the failed attempts to enact a second and bigger general amnesty for illegal aliens in 2006, 2007, and in the current year 2013."
(blog entry and presentation at Georgetown University, "Immigration reform's flaws revealed in the 1986 amnesty," November 3, 2013)
Torres, Arnaldo "Art"
Former CA Assemblyman, (D)
"How can we assume that by having more people come in that anybody is going to be better off, including the people who are coming?"
"While lawmakers waffle in chaos, the millions who immigrated legally are suffering most; they crowd into crime-plagued neighborhoods and must make do with substandard schooling."
(Los Angeles Times, May 3, 1993
"Number one, I believe that in any future trade accord or foreign aid relationship...there needs to be an Immigration Impact Statement attached to those accords.
"But the fact still remains that there needs to be adequate restrictions on both legal and illegal immigration — not only from nations to our south, but also from nations in Europe and Asia who seek our assistance.
"If we are going to deal adequately with immigration, we have to first begin, not with new ideas, but by enforcing current federal law. And that means employer sanctions, that means ensuring a proper enforcement along the border.
"You need to have one separate department, you choose under which cabinet or officer you want to put it in. But create some responsible voice that can serve as the touchstone for dealing with immigration policy.
"We have to say, yes, there is a problem with immigration. Yes, we have to start curbing the numbers. Yes, we have to look at economic development across the border if we are going to stop those push and pull factors in economics. Yes, we're going to have to enforce employer sanctions, so employers don't feel ready and able to bring in hordes of people who will work for nothing and be in unsafe working conditions because they fear deportation."
(Address to Center for National Policy, Wash. DC, Sept. 21, 1993)
Former Gov. NJ
"One of the strengths of this country has been our diversity. One of the strengths of this country has been the fact that we are a nation of immigrants."
(News Forum, August 8, 1996)
Wilson, Gov. Pete
Former Gov. CA
"The raging monster upon the land is population growth. In its presence, sustainability is but a fragile theoretical construct. To say, as many do, that the difficulties of nations are not due to people, but to poor ideology and land-use management is sophistic."
("The Diversity of Life" 1992)
Zedillo Ponce de Leon, Ernesto
Former President of Mexico
"What we need to do first is to find out how big the migration problem is and what the economic consequences of it are for the United States and Mexico. We hear a lot of extravagant numbers and claims made, but very few hard facts. We don't really know what, if any, burdens illegal migrants impose on the US economy or the social welfare apparatus, and those issues must be clarified."
"Fortunately, both governments have been in favor of studying the Mexican migration problem in greater depth. For the first time, I think, we will have something scientifically sound that says something about this phenomenon. The study is ongoing, and I hope that, with a push from both of us, it will provide a sound basis for serious public discussion on the migration issue."
(Journal of Commerce, May 7, 1997)