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Condoleezza Rice on Immigration

Secretary of State


We need immigrants but also need immigration laws

[Immigrants] have come here from impoverished nations just to make a decent wage. And they have come here from advanced societies as engineers and scientists that fuel the knowledge-based revolution across this great land.

We must continue to welcome the world's most ambitious people to be a part of us. In that way, we stay young and optimistic and determined. We need immigration laws that protect our borders, meet our economic needs, and yet show that we are a compassionate nation of immigrants.

Source: 2012 Republican National Convention speech , Aug 29, 2012

Most illegal immigrants should be able to stay in the US

On the AmericansElect.org immigration question, Dr. Rice chose 'B' from the list below, with a relative weighting of 15%:
Source: AmericansElect email questionnaire with Condi Rice's staff , Feb 13, 2012

Comprehensive immigration reform, while respecting law

Q: On immigration: we used to have an open-arms policy, where we would let in the best and the brightest people in the world, to work in these companies and continue to make this country more competitive. Now, people with PhD’s, smart people from international economies, can’t get visas.

A: Well, we need a comprehensive immigration reform. Everybody knows that we need people to respect our laws. And that needs to be said first. But it is also the case that we are a country of immigrants. We are a country that has been tremendously benefited by bringing the people to the US who want to work hard; who believe in the kind of free environment that we have here. They’ve built this country and they will continue to build this country if we can remain open. I believe that this country is going to have to have enlightened immigration policies if we’re going to stay this strong, competitive, open magnet for the best and brightest from around the world that we’ve been.

Source: CNBC interview on Maria Bartiromo show , May 23, 2008

Immigrants must speak English to succeed

It’s not enough to just have immigration reform. When you’re in America, you also have to be able to have the ability to access what is great about America. And what is great about America is that if you work hard and you have the tools, you can go as far as you want to go and that means you have to be educated, that means you have to speak the language.
Source: Espacio USA Conference, on www.4condi.com, “Issues” , May 5, 2006

Committed to border security and smarter screening

I am committed to border security and to protecting our nation and I will make the necessary tough decisions to do so.

We must seek to create travel documents for the 21st century that can protect personal identity and expedite secure travel.

We must conduct smarter screening in every place that we encounter travelers, whether at a consulate abroad or at a port of entry into the United States.

It can’t just be the case that to immigrate illegally is somehow considered proper. It isn’t.

Source: “Secure Borders and Open Doors,” on www.4condi.com, “Issues” , Jan 17, 2006

No backlash from knowledge-based Asian immigration

Q: Do you see any backlash to Europeans buying up American companies and Europeans working here?

A: A lot of the knowledge-based immigration is not European. It is Asian. If you go down to Intel and you stand in the elevator, the software engineers around you are likely to be Pakistani or Indian or Israeli or Russian, but I do not think that it is causing a backlash, maybe because the economy is so strong. There are people who want to make it a backlash, but it is not really resonating.

The long-term challenge is that as job creation is happening at the high end, the skill level of the population is not really picking up. So education has become a kind of surrogate hot-button issue for this divide between people who can work in Silicon Valley and people who cannot. And because it is partly disproportionately minorities who are not making it into those jobs that is a real danger. It is less focused on foreigners coming here to do that than it is the ill-preparedness of Americans.

Source: TIES-Webzine interview at Hoover Institution, Stanford Univ. , Jun 25, 2000

  • Click here for definitions & background information on Immigration.
  • Click here for policy papers on Immigration.
  • Click here for a profile of Condoleezza Rice.
  • Click here for VoteMatch responses by Condoleezza Rice.
Other candidates on Immigration: Condoleezza Rice on other issues:
Obama Administration:
Pres.Barack Obama
V.P.Joe Biden
State:John Kerry
DHS:Janet Napolitano
DoD:Chuck Hagel
A.G.:Eric Holder
HHS:Kathleen Sebelius
USDA:Tom Vilsack

First Obama Administration:
State:Hillary Clinton
Staff:Rahm Emanuel
DOT:Ray LaHood
DOI:Ken Salazar
DOL:Hilda Solis

Former Bush Administration:
State:Colin Powell
State:Condi Rice
EPA:Christie Whitman

Former Clinton Administration:
HUD:Andrew Cuomo
V.P.Al Gore
Labor:Robert Reich
A.G.:Janet Reno
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Page last updated: Mar 09, 2014