Condoleezza Rice Breaks With Right Wing And Says We Should Be For ‘Welcoming’ Immigrants

condiobamaLast Sunday, on a trip to Sacramento, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice briefly praised the nation’s history of welcoming immigrants, saying that it’s a tradition that should be preserved:

“Our national myth is the log cabin. That you can come from humble circumstances and do great things. That’s what has brought immigrants to this country for years. We’ve got to keep welcoming these people.”

A few months ago, Rice expressed deep regret about not being able to pass comprehensive immigration reform while her boss, President George W. Bush, was in office:

“We need immigration reform. I don’t care if it’s for the person who crawls across the desert to earn $5 an hour, or for Sergey Brin, who came here from Russia and founded Google. As a country, we can’t have people living in the shadows. It’s just wrong. It’s not only ineffective, it’s wrong.”

Rice’s comments are a much-needed departure from the Bush administration’s generally unwelcoming immigration enforcement tactics that drove undocumented immigrants deeper underground and contributed to the current atmosphere of hate, hostility and ethnic intimidation towards immigrants, Latinos, and other foreign minorities living in the US. While the Bush administration did advocate for comprehensive immigration reform and a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented population, it implemented oppressive immigration enforcement measures to win the public’s support for broader reform. And when the immigration reform bill failed in 2007, the administration’s brutal enforcement tactics continued. In fact, they escalated.

In late 2008, Peter Markowitz, professor of law at the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University in New York, explained:

“Something really shifted in the Bush Administration once it realized comprehensive immigration reform was not going to pass on its watch…When they saw the public policy battle was lost, they moved instead to public relations. The strategy now is to shore up the Republican base by demonstrating a big, flashy show of force.”

andreaThe Bush administration did a good job of riling up its right wing base, but it didn’t win itself any new votes. Instead, Bush left immigrants and Latinos with a situation in which hate crimes against them are increasing, racial profiling is soaring, and dehumanizing anti-immigrant rhetoric continues to dominate the airwaves. Bush may have won the hearts and minds of right-wingers, but Latino and immigrant voters overwhelmingly turned against the Republican party in the November 2008 elections. And while several members of the GOP are now trying to clean up their party’s rhetoric, ultimately its actions will speak louder than its words.

Andrea Christina Nill

Republished with permission from the Wonk Room/Think Progress


  1. Brittancus says

    I think many Americans are naturally apprehensive of the sudden volume of activity, politicians supposedly enacting amendments to strengthen our immigration laws? But I suspect this is the lull before the storm, which they will throw into the bubbling cauldron of issues, like health care and cap and trade? Immigration reform is the toxic sediment rising to the surface of the pool. We cannot blame President Bush for the immigration debacle completely, nor Clinton as this complete and utter disregard for border enforcement, has been ignored long before any of these administrations. Illegal immigration really became finally a damaging problem to the United States after the CAFTA treaty. Small farmers in Mexico lost their livelihood, when the giant agricultural consortium’s moved in. The (CFR) Council of foreign relations is a signature to an agenda, no borders between the US, Mexico and Canada.

    Promoted by the globalists in the (EU) European Union whose planned agenda was the open border movement? Europe has suddenly woken up to the mass immigration which has become a scourge, which is just now being recorded with an adverse impact. The indigenous people have found themselves prioritized into a second class citizenship. In America this is becoming de-javu, as an Americans are hounded by debt collectors and bankruptcy, while illegal immigrants pay nothing for health care services. But then illegal immigrant families cannot be truly blamed for low income services, as they have been drawn across the borders, from other lands by exploiting employers who pay nothing for there settlement here. That remains the burden of the gullible American taxpayer.

    Washington has absolutely ignored the millions of foreign laborers and families, who have arrived, now they have no choice but to exact punishment on the US taxpayer by legalizing those who are here. If their immigration reform is just a small fine, learn English and submit to a FBI background check, this will truly unfair to those sincere immigrants who wait for working visas in their country of residence. This to me is AMNESTY–by any other name. This goes against the essence of the US Constitution and our Rule of Law. It seems like Sen. Schumer, Reid, Speaker Pelosi adhere to our laws, when it suits them? The Democratic leadership de-funded E-Verify a while back, but the angry ire of voters appalled by the weakening of immigration laws, fired back with countless phone calls. We can now do the same with AMNESTY. How many realize the damage to our economy, by giving citizenship to over 20 plus foreign nationals in retirement benefits. Those legalized can be to our nation all their family members, known as chain migration.

    Outside of complimentary legalization for all those people–mostly poorly educated, unskilled will be competition with US workers of the same status. It makes no any sense to process these people who pay little or no taxes, when we are looking at 11 percent jobless Americans.

    We can start deporting all these illegal families, the criminals by implementing permanent E-Verify. Not just for Federal Contractors but everybody as a mandatory law. Discrepancies will be dealt with at the Social Security offices. NO MATCH LETTERS–is a supplementary workplace law that shouldn’t be rescinded? Don’t be misinformed by the pro-illegal immigrant organizations. Call and demand a permanent, mandated E-Verify and NO MORE AMNESTIES! The1986 IMMIGRATION REFORM BILL DIDN’T WORK–NOR WILL THIS? It will take time, but enforced E-Verify with all its updates will remove illegal workers from the office, factory floor. Call your Senator or Congressman 202-224-3121

    ATTENTION! Because of the massive payments to illegal immigrant benefits in California, their is now a petition to halt this travesty. Google–TAXPAYER REVOLUTION. Very few newspapers will mention this activist petition. For all the facts about OVERPOPULATION: CAPSWEB, NUMBERSUSA, FAIR & AMERICAN PATROL

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