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Arnold Schwarzenegger on Immigration

Republican CA Governor


Voted for Prop. 187 in 1994; apologized for it in 2006

A sign of Arnold's post-partisan era [after re-election in 2006 is that] he finally apologized for his earlier anti-immigrant stance. During the recall campaign, he told reporters that in 1994 he had voted for Proposition 187--the measure that prevented undocumented immigrants from obtaining public services, including education and healthcare. Now, in an interview with a Spanish-language newspaper, he apologized for that vote: "I think, looking back, it was the wrong decision."
Source: The Governator, by Ian Halperin, p.297-298 , Oct 12, 2010

No emergency at CA border, like TX, NM & AZ declared

We call on the governors of the border states to declare a state of emergency and call up the National Guard. 3 of the 4 governors of the border states--TX, NM, and AZ--have declared a state of emergency to address the illegal alien invasion crisis. The only holdout is California's Arnold Schwarzenegger. Our conversation with his deputy chief of staff explains Schwarzenegger's reluctance:

Q: Why has the governor not declared a state of emergency so he could dispatch the National Guard to the borders

A: There must be an imminent threat to life on a large scale before California law will allow such declaration.

Q: You mean like a major earthquake where great numbers of lives are at risk?

A: Yes. That would be an example.

Q: There are over 800 killers of California residents who have fled to Mexico for safe harbor from US justice. Nationally, there are over 3,000 such murderers.

A: Hmmm.that wouldn't be the kind of life-threatening situation qualifying as a state of emergency.

Source: Minutemen, by Jim Gilchrist & Jerome Corsi, p.319-320 , Jul 25, 2006

Restrict illegal immigrant rights-theyíre a security risk

HUFFINGTON: The good news about Tom McClintock is you know where he stands. Thereís no fudging. And thatís what I like about you. With Arnold, itís all over the map. We are for taking care of kids but not for driving them safely to school or to the emergency room or wherever the health care is to be provided. And ultimately, thatís the kind of pandering to the Pete Wilson team that you are surrounding yourself with, because ultimately they are not going to change. They donít really fundamentally care for those immigrants in this country.

SCHWARZENEGGER: Arianna, there is no identification, there is no background check. It is dangerous for our security here. Letís do it the right way. Letís get them visas. Letís get them temporary working permits. HUFFINGTON: It is really offensive to think that they are terrorists just because they are here as illegal immigrations.

SCHWARZENEGGER: Letís get them permanent working permits.

Source: [Xref Huffington] Recall Debate, Cal. State U. at Sacramento , Sep 24, 2003

Voted for Prop. 187, denying services to illegal immigrants

Schwarzenegger, who came to the United States from Austria during the late 1960s, has acknowledged voting for Proposition 187, the 1994 initiative that denied some social services to illegal immigrants. The proposition has since been mostly voided by the courts. The measure was championed by then-Gov. Pete Wilson, currently co-chairman of Schwarzeneggerís campaign.
Source: Associated Press on SFgate.com , Sep 1, 2003

Increase federal reimbursement for border enforcement

Immigrants contribute to the richness of life in California, and I embrace them.

Border enforcement is a federal responsibility. However, state taxpayers currently bear the costs of providing public services to undocumented immigrants, such as incarcerating undocumented immigrants in the state prison system. I will work with other border states, the President, and the US Congress to increase federal reimbursements for these costs.

Source: 2003 Gubernatorial campaign website, JoinArnold.com , Aug 29, 2003

Address undocumented immigrants living underground

Q: What is your position on undocumented immigrants?

A: Proposition 187 has been resolved by the courts. It is time to move on. More than 2.3 million undocumented immigrants currently live in California. They cannot continue to live underground. I will work with federal officials to address this problem.

Source: 2003 Gubernatorial campaign website, JoinArnold.com , Aug 29, 2003

No driverís licenses to illegal aliens

Schwarzenegger said he does not support giving driverís licenses to illegal aliens, but he said the issue of offering them other services is not so clear. ďThat is an issue with the federal government because the governor has nothing, [not] really much power over those things,Ē Schwarzenegger said.
Source: CNN.com , Aug 28, 2003

Arrived as immigrant with only $20 in his pocket

I came here in 1968 with $20 in my pocket. Within a week, I had an apartment and dishes and silverware and a television--all from people I had just met that week in the gym.

And within 6 months, I was asked to star in a movie. All right, granted they didn't use my real name--I was billed as "Arnold Strong." And they didn't use my real voice. They dubbed it in. But I was in a movie! It's called "Hercules in New York". And I know every one of you has seen it. And you can rent it at Blockbuster!

I called all my friends back in Europe and said: "It's true! You can do anything in this country! Come over here! It's everything you imagine---and more!" I decided right then--very early on--that I wanted to weave myself right into the fabric of America. I wanted to become a citizen. I wanted to work hard. I wanted to go to college and study politics, economics, and culture.

Today I stand before you--an immigrant success story. I am a living, breathing incarnation of The American Dream.

Source: A Patriot's Handbook, by Caroline Kennedy, p.567 , Sep 21, 2001

  • Click here for definitions & background information on Immigration.
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George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
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George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
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Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
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Page last updated: Oct 08, 2013