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Condoleezza Rice on Immigration

Secretary of State


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

Other candidates on Immigration: Condoleezza Rice on other issues:
Republican Presidential Nominee:
Sen.John McCain

Republican Veepstakes:
Gov.Haley Barbour(MS)
Sen. Sam Brownback(KS)
Gov. Jeb Bush(FL)
Gov.Charlie Crist(FL)
Rep. Newt Gingrich(GA)
Mayor Rudy Giuliani(NYC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov. Bobby Jindal(LA)
Sen.Joe Lieberman(I,CT)
Gov.Tim Pawlenty(MN)
Secy. Condi Rice(CA)
Gov.Mitt Romney(MA)
Gov. Mark Sanford(SC)
Sen. Fred Thompson(TN)
Secy. Tommy Thompson(WI)
Democratic Presidential Contenders:
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Sen.Barack Obama

Democratic Veepstakes:
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Sen.John Edwards(NC)
Gov.Bill Richardson(NM)
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Page last updated: Jul 15, 2008