DC NOTE: Those ideas in bold have gone largely ignored by Clinton, Obama, and Edwards, and by Democrats, in general. Instead of fighting back, like Richardson, they’ve joined the Republicans by simply agreeing with their rhetoric. Unless Democrats stick it to the Republicans, who are the real cause of America’s economic problems, by utilizing this type of language, we will get no where in 2008.
by Bill Richardson (www.RichardsonforPresident.com)
At Sunday’s debate in Miami, Florida, the Republican Presidential candidates once again failed to propose a cogent and humane solution to fix our broken immigration system. While they may be proud conservatives, Republicans lack both compassion and understanding. On top of that, they insist on vilifying undocumented immigrants and using immigration as a wedge issue to frighten and further divide Americans.
As a border Governor, I deal with the effects of immigration– both legal and illegal– every single day. As a Latino, I am uniquely able to appreciate all of the complexities of the immigration issue. We first must secure our borders, but Republican-designed walls are not the answer. I have a detailed plan that will secure our borders by dramatically increasing the number of agents and utilizing the best surveillance technology available. In addition, we must enforce the laws already on the books and sanction employers who knowingly hire undocumented immigrants.
Any comprehensive solution also must include a reasonable path to legalization. This path will be tough: those who came here illegally should learn English, pay back taxes, and undergo a background check, among other requirements. But it is un-American to separate families and scapegoat immigrants for the economic downturn caused by the Bush administration’s policies that cater only to the wealthiest Americans.
We also must engage other countries in helping to find solutions by creating new economic opportunities for their citizens and by joining us in our efforts. As an example, I know Mexican President Calderon, and I have spoken with him about this. I know that we can work together to reduce the flow of undocumented workers.
As I have said many times, actions speak louder than words. The difference between me and the Republicans is that, when I am President, I will enact comprehensive immigration reform.
I know that I can win, but I need your support. Please help me during this critically important primary season.
Thank you very much. Muchas gracias.
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