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Mike Gravel on Immigration

Libertarian for President; Former Democratic Senator (AK)


Support amnesty for illegal immigrants already working here

Source: Presidential Election 2008 Political Courage Test Apr 22, 2008

We’re making a mountain out of a mole hill on immigration

Q: Under a Gravel administration, what rights do immigrants have if they’re working without proper authorization come January 2009?

A: Stop and think. Our unemployment level is about 4.5, and that’s about as low as you can get it. So, where is the problem? We have to have people fill these jobs. They come in and fill these jobs. We call them illegal. Are they illegal? They’re filling jobs that need to be done. But we’re making a mountain out of a mole hill.

Source: 2007 Democratic radio debate on NPR Dec 4, 2007

Immigration issue is national scapegoating

Q: Would you commit to immigration reform during your first year of the presidency?

A: Immediately. But secondly, I think we need to understand that the whole national immigration issue is national scapegoating. It’s national scapegoating because we have our failures in education, we have failures in health care, every place you turn our society is crumbling around us. And so we want to find somebody to scapegoat, blame it on them.

Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate on Univision in Spanish Sep 9, 2007

Embarrassed at building a wall on southern border

I am embarrassed at the thought of building a wall on the southern border. Embarrassed. I just recently went to Canada. I went into Canada, it took me three seconds. Coming out took two hours. Two hours in line to get back into our country. Something is wrong. We need to stop scapegoating people. People come here because they want to feed their families because they’re starving in other locations. We need a foreign policy that addresses the entire Western Hemisphere in this regard.
Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate on Univision in Spanish Sep 9, 2007

Suspend immigrant raids that separate families

Q: Some 60,000 families have been separated in federal raids. Would you be willing to suspend the raids?

A: Totally. I think it’s abominable that they go out and do these raids, and separate families. Stop and think--all these people want to do is earn enough money to feed their families, whether they send them money back home or they bring their families here. If we made it easier for them to go back and forth on the borders, you wouldn’t have this problem.

Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate on Univision in Spanish Sep 9, 2007

I’m first-generation American; we’re all immigrants

Q: Why did you consider it important to participate in this forum?

A: It is a great opportunity. But I do want to take my time to give my condolences to the Soriano family. Armando Soriano was recently killed in Iraq, and his father is about to be deported. I think there’s something basically wrong with that situation.

Let me point out, I’m first-generation American. My parents came here like many of your parents, and I spoke French before I could speak English as a child. My dad was very humble, didn’t have a third-grade education, but he was able to work and prosper in this country, and so I honor anybody that comes to this country as an immigrant, because we’re all immigrants. There’s been nobody else but the Indians in this great land.

Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate on Univision in Spanish Sep 9, 2007

Make whole country a sanctuary city

Q: Would you allow “sanctuary cities” to ignore the federal law & provide sanctuary to immigrants?

A: This whole nation should be a sanctuary for the world and bring the people in. What’s going on? We’re scapegoating the Latinos of our society because we as a society are failing in education, we’re failing in health care, we’re failing in our crumbling infrastructure, and we’re failing by invading countries and spending our treasure. That’s what’s wrong.

Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate at Dartmouth College Sep 6, 2007

I’m ashamed that we’re building a fence on southern border

I’m ashamed, as an American, to be building a fence on our southern border. That’s not the America that I fought for.
Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate at Dartmouth College Sep 6, 2007

Make English the official language of the US

We speak English. That doesn’t mean we can’t encourage other languages. I speak French and English. People speak Spanish and English. But the official language of the United States of America is English.
Source: 2007 Dem. debate at Saint Anselm College Jun 3, 2007

Illegal immigrants come here for jobs; don’t deport them

Another major issue was Immigration. “If we were to deport every illegal immigrant in this country,” Gravel spoke, “it would be the worst thing in this country since the trail of tears...it would be ‘Trail of Tears II.” The Senator said we need to help Mexico...“they’re coming here, because they know they can find jobs.”
Source: Blue State Observer, “Scones with the Senator” Jun 27, 2006


Mike Gravel on 2

Nativists who want to fence us in are dead wrong

Like most immigrant families, we arrived in the United States with a support group already in place. I enjoyed the benefits of an extended family, numerous cousins, and a close community of fellow French Canadians in a new land I know from my own personal experience that continued immigration to the United States is important to replenish the building blocks of a more just society. Nativists who want to fence us in are dead wrong--they scapegoat immigrants for many of our ills, but immigration regenerates our country. Latin American, Asian, African, and Canadian immigrants have breathed new life into the American extended family and community, the way Europeans did last century. Most immigrants today are driven to leave their countries by economic necessity caused in part by our unfair global and regional trade policies. These need to change to allow more equal economic development around the world. In the meantime, the door to immigrants must remain open.
Source: A Political Odyssey, by Mike Gravel, p. 71-72 May 2, 2008

Other candidates on Immigration: Mike Gravel on other issues:
Nominees:
GOP: Sen.John McCain
GOP V.P.: Gov.Sarah Palin
Democrat: Sen.Barack Obama
Dem.V.P.: Sen.Joe Biden

Third Parties:
Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
Constitution: Amb.Alan Keyes
Liberation: Gloria La Riva
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Socialist: Brian Moore
Independent: Ralph Nader
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Page last updated: Feb 08, 2010