Search for...
Follow @ontheissuesorg
OnTheIssuesLogo

Rudy Giuliani on Immigration

Former Mayor of New York City; Republican Candidate for 2000 Senate (NY)


A special policy for Cuban immigrants fleeing Castro

Q: Why a special policy for a Cuban immigrant?

A: Well, of course, this was developed in the 1960s, because the longest dictatorship, I believe, in the modern world, is the one of Fidel Castro. The presumption is that if you’re fleeing Fidel Castro, given decades and decades of murder, oppression--including, most recently, the way he cracked down on Brothers to the Rescue, all of these things--there’s a presumption in the immigration law that if you’re fleeing Fidel Castro, you’re fleeing political persecution. In every other situation, you have to prove it. If you can prove that you’re fleeing political persecution, you’ll be accepted. We’ve had this exception now for, what, for 40 years? And I think it’s a fair one, given the history of Castro, which is a pretty unusual one. And he is the longest-standing dictator, certainly in this hemisphere, I believe in the world.

Source: 2008 GOP debate in Boca Raton Florida , Jan 24, 2008

Support tamper-proof ID card and path to citizenship

The core of my plan on immigration is to stop illegal immigration at the border with a BorderStat system, with technology, with an increased Border Patrol. We can stop illegal immigration if we stop it right at the border. We should develop a tamper-proo ID card for people who want to come into the US. We need to teach new behavior. The new behavior is, if you want to come into the US, you have to identify yourself. You can’t get into most countries without identifying yourself. If you’ve got the tamper-proof ID card, you’d be allowed to work, pay taxes, get online, become a citizen, follow the rules, but then at the end of the line, you’d have to be able to read, write and speak English. If you speak a second language or a third language or a fourth language, that’s great. The US has to be a country that has facility with more languages, given the global economy we live in. But the focus has to be on being able to read, write and speak English if you want to be a citizen.
Source: 2008 GOP debate in Boca Raton Florida , Jan 24, 2008

Let illegals self-select to sign up & work on the tax rolls

Q: You have a comprehensive plan that calls for building a fence & immediately deporting any illegals who commit crimes, but that’s still going to leave 10 million people here. What would you do with them?

A: What you would do is you would secure the border. You’d have a tamper-proof I.D. card. And once it was working, what you would do is you’d deport the people who are criminals. You’ve got to get that number down to a number that is deportable.

Q: What will you do with the ones--let’s say 8 million, 6 million, whatever--who haven’t broken the law?

A: You let them sign up. You assure yourself that they’re safe, decent people, that they’re now working on the rolls.

Q: But that sure sounds like amnesty for that self-selected group of people.

A: Not at all. If they ever wanted to become citizens, they would have to get on the back of the line. They couldn’t get ahead of anyone else. They would have to pay fines.

Q: But you wouldn’t make them leave the country?

A: No.

Source: 2008 Fox News interview: “Choosing the President” series , Jan 13, 2008

End illegal immigration or we risk legal immigration

Q: What do you think should be done with the 12 million undocumented aliens that live in the US?

A: The first thing that has to be done is we have to end illegal immigration. If we don’t end illegal immigration, we’re really going to risk legal immigration. We should end illegal immigration at the border, because it can’t be really dealt with internally. We should do it by having a fence, a technological fence, as well as a physical fence. It should be used to alert the Border Patrol of the people coming to the border, and we should stop people from coming in. Then we should have a tamper-proof ID card that everybody can get who wants to come into the US legally. When we accomplish that, when we have control of our borders, when we preserve the legality of immigration, we can then turn to the people that are here. The people that come forward can sign up. They can pay taxes, and then the people who don’t, those people should be expelled from the US if they don’t already leave.

Source: 2007 Republican primary debate on Univision , Dec 9, 2007

BorderStat & virtual fence: just stop people from coming in

Q: Will you continue to aid and abet the flight of illegal aliens into this country?

A: The federal policies weren’t working, stopping people coming into the United States. If I were president of the United States, I could do something about that by deploying a fence, by deploying a virtual fence, by having a BorderStat system like my COMSTAT system that brought down crime in New York, and just stopping people from coming in, and then having a tamper-proof ID card.

Source: 2007 GOP YouTube debate in St. Petersburg, Florida , Nov 28, 2007

FactCheck: NYC acted like “sanctuary city”, in all but name

Romney and Giuliani accused each other of willfully providing “sanctuary” to immigrants who are in the US illegally. When asked if NYC under Giuliani was a sanctuary city, Romney responded, “Absolutely. Called itself a sanctuary city..” Romney is simply wrong on one point: New York never called itself a “sanctuary city.”

Giuliani also strained the facts when he flatly stated during the debate that New York “was not a sanctuary city.” New York indeed had a policy, which Giuliani defended during the debate, that forbade city employees from giving federal immigration officials the names of illegal aliens unless the immigrant was suspected of other criminal activity or turning the person over was required by law. That protection was granted by a previous mayor through executive order 124 in 1989 and renewed by Giuliani. However the city chooses to characterize its policies, they fit the description of “sanctuary” applied by neutral experts.

Source: FactCheck on 2007 GOP YouTube debate , Nov 28, 2007

Sanctuary city policy helped make NYC most legal city in US

THOMPSON: I voted for and we passed an anti-sanctuary city bill, outlawed them. Mayor Giuliani went to court, filed suit himself to overturn our abolition of sanctuary cities. And, fortunately, he lost.

GIULIANI: New York City had a policy of allowing people who are illegal immigrants to report crime and to put their children in school. Otherwise, we reported every single illegal immigrant that committed a crime. The results were pretty darn good. I brought down crime by over 60%. I brought down homicide by 67%. I had the most legal city in the country. And I took the crime capital of America and I turned it into the safest large city in the country. The senator has never had executive responsibility. He’s never had the weight of people’s safety and security on his shoulders. I have. And I think I out-performed any expectations.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida , Oct 21, 2007

FactCheck: NYC not “sanctuary” but did welcome illegals

Giuliani glossed over his own record in denying that he made New York a “sanctuary” for illegal aliens. Giuliani said, “the simple fact is that New York City had a policy of allowing people who are illegal immigrants to report crime and to put their children in school. Otherwise, we reported every single illegal immigrant that committed a crime.”

In fact, Giuliani’s policy as mayor was not so simple as he now claims. New York didn’t describe itself as a “sanctuary city” for aliens. However, Giuliani told the New York Times early in 1994 that “Some of the hardest-working and most productive people in this city are undocumented aliens. If you come here and you work hard and you happen to be in an undocumented status, you’re one of the people who we want in this city. You’re somebody that we want to protect, and we want you to get out from under what is often a life of being like a fugitive.” The Times said back then that the mayor was “virtually urging illegal immigrants to settle in NYC.”

Source: FactCheck on 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando , Oct 21, 2007

Declared NYC a sanctuary city, and crime fell

Q: [to Romney]: In recent weeks you have gone after Mayor Giuliani for running what you say was a sanctuary city for illegals. But as governor, you did nothing to stop Cambridge & Somerville, which proclaimed themselves to be sanctuaries.

ROMNEY: I authorized our state police to enforce the law in sanctuary cities.

Q: [to Giuliani]: You said in 1994: “If you come here and you work hard and you happen to be in an undocumented status, you’re one of the people who we want in this city. You’re somebody that we want to protect, and we want you to get out from under what is often a life of being a fugitive.“

GIULIANI: I had 400,000 illegal immigrants, roughly, in NYC. And I had a city that was the crime capital of America. I didn’t have the luxury of political rhetoric. So I said: If you are an illegal immigrant in NYC & a crime is committed against you, I want you to report it. My policies led to a city that was the safest large city in the country, so they must have been sensible policies

Source: 2007 GOP debate at UNH, sponsored by Fox News , Sep 5, 2007

FactCheck: Feds deported 4,000 illegals in NYC, not 2,000

In characterizing his frustrations with federal immigration officials while mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani low-balled the number of deportations of illegal immigrants. Giuliani said, “I had 400,000 illegal immigrants. The best year they ever had for deportations was 2,000. I figured out I was stuck with 398,000. It’s like simple arithmetic.”

Giuliani’s point is valid: DHS said in a 2006 report that it lacks the resources to deport even all illegal aliens who are convicted criminals. His numbers, however, aren’t. In his last year in office, 2001, the federal government deported 4,282 illegal immigrants from the New York field office. The number for New York City would be somewhat lower, since the field office serves not only the city’s five boroughs but also Long Island and several New York counties within a two-hour drive of the city. But it would not be less than half, or the 2,000 figure Giuliani cited.

Source: FactCheck on 2007 GOP debate at UNH , Sep 5, 2007

AdWatch: New citizens must read, write, & speak English

[Giuliani’s radio ad was released Aug. 15, airing in NH, IA, and DC]:

GIULIANI: People that come in illegally we gotta stop. You stop illegal immigration by building a fence, a physical fence and then a technological fence. You then hire enough Border Patrol so they can respond in a timely way. And then, if anybody becomes a citizen, we should make certain that they can read English, write English and speak English, because this is an English speaking country.

Source: FactCheck's AdWatch of 2007 campaign ad, “Fences” , Aug 20, 2007

AdWatch: Deport convicted criminals who are illegal aliens

[Giuliani’s radio ad was released Aug. 15, airing in NH, IA, & SC]:

GIULIANI: It frustrates me that if someone comes here illegally, in addition to everything else that’s involved in that, if they commit a crime, we don’t throw them out of the country As the mayor of NYC I wanted to get the Immigration Service to get rid of the drug dealers who are coming out of jail. It makes no sense--after they have been in jail for selling drugs--we now have to keep them in the US. They couldn’t do it because they had other people lined up to throw out. They had like a professor who over-stayed his visa. I had a drug dealer who had maybe killed people. A person who comes here illegally and commits a crime should be thrown out of the country.

Source: FactCheck's AdWatch of 2007 campaign ad, “Fences” , Aug 20, 2007

FactCheck: English literacy already required for citizenship

The most questionable of Giuliani’s pronouncements [in his latest radio ad on immigration] is his call that “we should make certain that they can read English, write English and speak English.” The federal government agrees. Speaking, reading and writing basic English is ALREADY a requirement for those applying for naturalization.

According to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, “Applicants for naturalization must be able to read, write, speak, and understand words in ordinary usage in the English language,“ with some exceptions.

When we asked the Giuliani campaign what exactly he was calling for, they said they wanted ”more strenuous“ requirements to prove that applicants truly understood the language.

We think Giuliani’s ad falsely suggests there is no English-speaking requirement for naturalized citizens. What he should have said is that he wants to make certain those applying for US citizenship can read, write and speak English BETTER than the law now requires.

Source: FactCheck's AdWatch of 2007 campaign ad, “Fences” , Aug 20, 2007

Need tamper-proof IDs, and database for immigrants

Q: What do you think the consequences for the nation are if this immigration plan proposed by Pres. Bush goes through?

A: The problem with this immigration plan is it has no real unifying purpose. It’s a typical Washington mess. Everybody compromises, and the compromises leave you with the following conclusion. The litmus test you should have for legislation is: will it make things better? And when you look at these compromises, it is quite possible it will make things worse. The organizing purpose should be that our immigration laws should allow us to identify everyone who is in this country that comes here from a foreign country. They should have a tamper-proof ID card. It should be in a database that allows you to figure out who they are, why they’re here, make sure they’re not illegal immigrants coming here for a bad purpose, and then to be able to throw out the ones who are not in that database. We can do that. Credit card companies take care of data that is greater than that.

Source: 2007 GOP debate at Saint Anselm College , Jun 3, 2007

Reform bill fails to document who left US and who’s here

McCAIN: What we have done is come together with the president, and the leaders of both parties, and sit down and figure out an approach to the immigration problem. Our legislation [addresses] a serious national security problem.

GIULIANI: I’ve read the 400 pages, and this is part of the problem in Washington--they say things and then it’s not in the legislation. There are four or five different methods of identification, not one. It does not provide information about who exited the US. Now tell me how you’re going to figure out who’s in the US, if you can’t figure out who’s left the US. And finally, it doesn’t provide for a uniform database. Many countries have this. The US doesn’t have it. On September 11th, when we tried to figure out who was in this country, it took weeks to figure out who were the right people and who weren’t, because there isn’t such a database. And that is a fatal flaw in this legislation, and wishing it away doesn’t make it possible.

Source: 2007 GOP debate at Saint Anselm College , Jun 3, 2007

Shouldn’t be debating LEGAL immigration, only ILLEGAL

TANCREDO [to Giuliani}: We talk about all the immigration reform we want, but are we actually ready to say, “Enough is enough”? We have to stop all legal immigration except for people coming into this country as family members, immediate family members, and/or refugees.

GIULIANI: I’m very uncomfortable with that. It’s one thing to be debating illegal immigration. And I think the bill needs to be fixed in the way that I’ve indicated. But we shouldn’t be having a debate about legal immigration.

Source: 2007 GOP debate at Saint Anselm College , Jun 3, 2007

Allow immigrants to work, with tamper-proof ID cards

Q: You said about illegal immigrant in NYCs: “If you come here, and you work hard, and you happen to be in an undocumented status, you’re one of the people who we want in this city.” If that was good enough for New York, why isn’t it good enough for the country?

A: The focus on immigration should be to know everyone who’s in the US. We should have a tamper-proof ID card; we should have a database in which we can identify the people who are in this country. We’ve got to be sensible about immigration. If we do the kinds of things that some of the [other GOP candidates] are talking about, this country’s going to be in greater danger; it is going to be more insecure; we’re going to face a situation in which terrorists can find a big underground to hide in. So we need a fence--a technological fence--we need a tamper-proof ID card. And we need a way that people who are working in this country can come forward, sign up for the tamper-proof ID card, get in the database and start paying their way.

Source: 2007 Republican Debate in South Carolina , May 15, 2007

Let illegals’ kids go to school, or they’ll be on streets

Q: As mayor, you welcomed--welcomed!--illegal immigrants into NYC. Now that you’re running for president, your principles on immigration have changed.

A: That is a total misunderstanding. My interest as mayor was to focus on the criminals that were here. I wanted the INS to throw them out. At the same time, there were 400,000 illegal immigrants in NYC, roughly, when I was the mayor. The immigration service could throw out no more than about 2,000 a year. The question was, should the children of the other 398,000 illegal immigrants go to school? Did it make sense, in a city that had so much crime, to have 40,000 kids sitting at home? Should they be able to report crimes? Of course they should. The criminals who criminalized them were going to criminalize others. Should they get treatment in hospitals? If they don’t get treatment in hospitals, you have communicable diseases. I had real responsibilities that I had to deal with. This was a very effective way to deal with those responsibilities.

Source: Fox News Sunday: 2007 “Choosing the President” interviews , May 14, 2007

Change rule barring immigrants from running for president

Q: Should we change our Constitution to allow men like Mel Martinez, born in Cuba, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, born in Austria, to stand here some night as candidates for president?

PAUL: I’m a no, because I am a strong supporter of the original intent

GIULIANI: When he called me up to endorse him, he got me on the phone, he said, “Will you endorse me?”, and I was too afraid to say no. I would say yes.

TANCREDO: Intimidating as he might be, I’m saying no.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate, at Reagan library, hosted by MSNBC , May 3, 2007

Supports Senate guest worker plan & path to citizenship

Giuliani has been criticized for embracing illegal immigration. Giuliani continued a policy of preventing city employees from contacting INS about immigration violations. He ordered city attorneys to defend this policy in federal court. Giuliani has also expressed doubt that the federal government can stop illegal immigration. In April 2006, Giuliani went on the record as favoring the US Senate’s comprehensive immigration plan which includes a path to citizenship and a guest worker plan
Source: wikipedia.org , Nov 7, 2006

New York City was not a sanctuary city; we gave name to feds

New York City was not a sanctuary city. New York City turned in the names of every single person who committed a crime or was suspected of a crime. New York City turned in the names of all people that were illegal, with only three exceptions. One exception was for children that were going to school. We had 70,000 children of illegals. I was not going to leave them on the street. I am proud that I continued that policy. It would have been inhumane to do anything else.
Source: 2008 Facebook/WMUR-NH Republican primary debate , Jan 5, 2006

We should erect a fence along the border

What I believe should happen is we should stop illegal immigration at the border, and we should begin doing it now. We should erect a fence. We should erect a technological fence. We should expand the Border Patrol. We should have a BorderStat system. We should have a rule that you cannot come into the US without identifying yourself, which, after all, is the rule in every other country just about. Then we should operate that for two, three, four years, change behavior. We should take that system, with a tamper-proof I.D. card, which would be used for people coming into this country, and what we should do with the people that are here. Our priorities should be--since you can’t throw out all 12 million people, whether anybody would like to do that or not, you just can’t do it. It’s not physically possible to do. I would focus on the illegal immigrants that are here who have committed crimes. They should be given priority. That’s a number we can throw out.
Source: 2008 Facebook/WMUR-NH Republican primary debate , Jan 5, 2006

If you pay a fine, it’s not amnesty

What I would do with the people that are here, when you had a good system in place--and I believe my plan is the best plan for doing that, and these are the kinds of things I achieved in the other jobs that I’ve had in my life, as mayor and associate attorney general--I think what you would do then is, you would say to the 12 million people that are here, come forward, get a tamper- proof I.D. card, get fingerprinted, get photographed. If they don’t come forward, then you throw them out of the country. The ones who do come forward would have to pay taxes. They’d have to pay fines. If you pay fines, it is not amnesty. They would not get ahead of anybody else. They’d be at the back of the line. But then they could eventually become citizens, so long as they could read English, write English and speak English.
Source: 2008 Facebook/WMUR-NH Republican primary debate , Jan 5, 2006

NYC services for illegal aliens

Giuliani takes all the wrong social positions for the GOP base:In short, Giuliani flunks all the litmus tests of the GOP right wing. At the moment, his record on 9/11 and his strong & successful fight against crime have put him ahead in the polls. But he is a social liberal, and the Christian Right and the NRA control the GOP nominating process. It is absolutely inconceivable that GOP primary voters would support a pro-choice, pro-immigration, pro-affirmative action, antigun candidate--whatever his name, outside achievements or reputation.
Source: Condi vs. Hillary, by Dick Morris, p.234-235 , Oct 11, 2005

  • Click here for definitions & background information on Immigration.
  • Click here for a profile of Rudy Giuliani.
  • Click here for VoteMatch responses by Rudy Giuliani.
  • Click here for AmericansElect.org quiz by Rudy Giuliani.
Other big-city mayors on Immigration: Rudy Giuliani on other issues:

Mike Bloomberg (I,New York City)
Cory Booker (D,Newark,NJ)
Julian Castro (D,San Antonio,TX)
Rahm Emanuel (D,Chicago)
Phil Gordon (D,Phoenix)
Tom Menino (D,Boston)
Michael Nutter (D,Philadelphia)
Annise Parker (D,Houston)
Mike Rawlings (D,Dallas)
Jerry Sanders (R,San Diego)
Antonio Villaraigosa (D,Los Angeles)

Former Mayors:
Rocky Anderson (I,Salt Lake City)
Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee,WI)
Jerry Brown (D,Oakland,CA)
Rudy Giuliani (R,New York City)
Dennis Kucinch (D,Cleveland,OH)
Sarah Palin (R,Wasilla,AK)
Abortion
Budget/Economy
Civil Rights
Corporations
Crime
Drugs
Education
Energy/Oil
Environment
Families/Children
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Immigration
Infrastructure/Technology
Jobs
Principles/Values
Social Security
Tax Reform
War/Iraq/Mideast
Welfare/Poverty

Page last updated: Jul 06, 2014