A: I think that if they are illegal, then they should not be able to work in this country. That is part of the principle of comprehensive reform, which we’re going to crack down on employers who are hiring them and taking advantage of them. But I also want to give them a pathway, so that they can earn citizenship, earn a legal status, start learning English, pay a significant fine, and go to the back of the line. But they can then stay here and they can have the ability to enforce a minimum wage that they’re paid, make sure the worker safety laws are available, make sure that they can join a union.
A: We do not deputize the American people to do the job that the federal government is supposed to do. So as president, I will make sure that the federal government does what it’s supposed to do, which is to do a better job of closing our borders, have much tougher enforcement standards when it comes to employers, and create a pathway of citizenship for the 12 million people who are already here.
A: No, because there are Spanish-speaking U.S. citizens who may not speak English well, and if they’re seeking help, for example, on some vital health care question, or a senior citizen who emigrated here a long time ago and they’re trying to get their Social Security check, I don’t want them to not be able to get those services.
A: I think you’ve got an obligation here to go beyond that if you have any doubts or questions here. People who knowingly hire undocumented workers, I think, need to be held accountable to a far higher degree of penalty, civil and possibly criminal, if in fact it’s widespread, because these are the things that are going to slow down the 400,000 to 500,000 people who come here each year.
A: Rely on the Constitution. We don’t encourage vigilantism in this country. We have due process, we have equal protection, we have habeas corpus. As I’ve said: Cancel NAFTA. Negotiate a new trade agreement with Mexico based on workers rights, human rights, and environmental quality principles. Give a path to legalization for the people who have been here. You can’t send them home willy-nilly.
A: I was able to defeat an English-only proposal in the Ohio Senate years ago when I pointed out our state’s founding documents were in German. We need to have our children learn languages. Why are we separating ourselves from the possibility of being able to merge with the world? An insular and isolated America doesn’t cut it. I’m talking about encouraging the American people to reach out.
A: Well, there’s three different points here. First, we need to have English as a common, unifying language. It’s an important part of who we are and how we keep this big, diverse country of ours going. Secondly, there are a lot of Americans who are citizens who speak different languages. I represent New York City. I think there’s, like, 170 languages and dialects; the city would be in total chaos if people didn’t get some services and some help in the language that they actually understood. And thirdly, make it clear that we do expect people who want to become legal in America to try to learn English. But that doesn’t mean that they have to give up the language that they originally had, but we have to do more with English as second language, more help in schools, to get people to be able to speak and comprehend English
A: I have been working with this for a long time, as former chairman of the Judiciary Committee. That’s where it comes out of. We have it about right now, except that the employers aren’t doing their part. They’ve got to offer the job. If there’s an American there who will take the job, they can’t undercut it by hiring an Indian engineer who will work for less; that’s illegal. We’re not enforcing it.
In fact, Mexico was the country of birth of 57% of the estimated 11.55 million unauthorized immigrants in 2006. Add in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras--all Spanish-speaking countries--and it jumps to 67%. You’d have to go back many decades to get to a time when the majority of undocumented immigrants were Britons, Germans, Irish and Poles.
A: The studies show is there are a lot of things driving down wages. One of those things is the loss of good middle-class jobs, which has been accelerated under this administration. And I think there are a variety of things that are contributing to that. There are a whole range of things that we need to do if we actually want to save the middle class and strengthen the American economy.
A: They’re in a very vulnerable position. What we want to make certain is that we are enforcing the laws that apply to employers. This is not a short-term solution. I wish there were a clear short-term solution that would be effective. The answer to this is comprehensive immigration reform. That is ultimately the answer.
A: Well, the first point is, why is America not educating and training American workers to do these jobs? That’s the starting point. If American workers are actually competent to do those jobs, American workers should be doing those jobs. The whole purpose of the H1-B visa program is to bring people from other places that have to do jobs that we don’t have American workers to do.
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.
|Candidates and political leaders on Immigration:|
Incoming Obama Administration:
Outgoing Bush Administration:
2008 Presidential contenders:
AIP: Frank McEnulty
Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
GOP: Sen.John McCain
GOP VP: Gov.Sarah Palin
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Independent: Ralph Nader
Liberation: Gloria La Riva
Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
NAIP: Amb.Alan Keyes
Socialist: Brian Moore
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