Bobby Jindal on Immigration

Republican Governor; previously Representative (LA-1)


Criminalize sanctuary cities & jail their mayors

SANTORUM: Just about everybody in this field supports some pathway to citizenship. , Governor Jindal supports some sort of amnesty at some point in time or another.

JINDAL: We need to secure the border, period. We don't need a comprehensive plan; we don't need an 1,000-page bill, like the Gang of Eight; we don't need amnesty. Everybody in D.C. talks about it. We need to get it done. As president, I'll get it done in six months. It won't be perfect, but we can get it done.

SANTORUM: Well, just because you don't call it amnesty doesn't mean that [it's not; you're] allowing people who broke the law to stay in America.

JINDAL: I'm not for amnesty. I've never been for amnesty, will never be for amnesty. Secure the border. I've also said we need to put an end to sanctuary cities. It's not enough to defund them; I think we need to criminalize, accuse and jail those mayors and councilman as accessories for the crimes committed by people who shouldn't be here in the first place.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN , Sep 16, 2015

I've never been for amnesty

What I've said consistently is secure the border. I've said after that is done, the American people will deal with the folks that are here pragmatically and compassionately. I'm not for amnesty. I've never been for amnesty, will never be for amnesty. I've also said we need to put an end to sanctuary cities. It's not enough to defund them; I think we need to criminalize, accuse & jail those mayors and councilman as accessories for the crimes committed by people who shouldn't be here in the first place
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN , Sep 16, 2015

Immigration without assimilation is an invasion

We need a nominee, a candidate who will endorse our own principles. Jeb Bush says we've got to be willing to lose the primary in order to win the general. Let me translate that for you. That's the establishment telling us to hide our conservative principles to get the left and the media to like us. That never works. If we do that again, we will lose again, we will deserve to lose again.

One principle, for example, we've got to embrace is on immigration. We must insist on assimilation--immigration without assimilation is an invasion. We need to tell folks who want to come here, they need to come here legally. They need to learn English, adopt our values, roll up their sleeves and get to work.

I'm tired of the hyphenated Americans and the division. I've got the backbone, I've got the band width, I've got the experience to get us through this. I'm asking folks not just to join my campaign, but join a cause. It is time to believe in America again.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Second Tier debate transcript , Aug 6, 2015

Prosecute and defund sanctuary cities for harboring illegals

Q: Your first executive order would be in the White House would be what?

JINDAL: To repeal these unconstitutional illegal orders, whether it's amnesty or whether it's this president going around the Congress to restore the rule of law. I'd also go after these sanctuary cities, do everything we can to make sure that we are actually prosecuting and cutting off funding for cities that are harboring illegal aliens, and then finally making sure the IRS is not going after conservative or religious group

Source: Fox News/Facebook Second Tier debate transcript , Aug 6, 2015

More legal foreign workers; fewer who believe in Shariah law

On immigration, Jindal says he would secure the border, then allow a path to citizenship for undocumented residents, while expanding legal immigration.

Jindal laid out his immigration position in a 2013 op-ed that called for the U.S. to first secure the southern border and to then set up a system where those in the country illegally could first get a legal status and later apply for citizenship. The Louisiana governor would also expand legal immigration, allowing more skilled foreign workers to enter the country and apply for citizenship. He would ban immigration from "radical Muslims", including those who believe in Sharia law. In a London 2015 speech, Jindal sparked debate with his belief that some European nations provide "no-go" or safe zones for Muslims who want to live under Sharia law.

Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series , Jun 24, 2015

Opposes in-state tuition for illegal immigrants

Jindal has opposed Obama's executive order giving protection to young undocumented immigrants [known as the DREAM Act]. In 2012, Jindal said he supported a comprehensive immigration bill, but would not grant temporary amnesty to young undocumented immigrants until that bill was passed. "We can't do this piecemeal," he said at the time. "We can't do this little piece by little piece."

Two years later, Jindal said he was opposed to punishing DREAMers. "I don't think we're the kind of people who are going to kick people out of schools or hospitals or punish kids for what their parents have done," Jindal told CNN in 2014.

"The governor opposes in-state tuition for illegal immigrants," a spokesperson for Jindal's office told National Journal.

Source: National Journal 2016 series: Republicans on immigration , Feb 23, 2015

We need a high walls and wide gate

Q: What about immigration?

JINDAL: On immigration--look, I've said all along that people that want to come into this country, work hard, get an education, that's good for them, that's good for us. There's nothing wrong with Republicans in congress saying let's secure the border first. If this president was serious about moving forward with comprehensive approach he would start by securing the border. We don't need a thousand page bill. It's not complicated. Right now, we have low walls and a narrow gate. That is opposite of what we need, we need a high walls and wide gate, so that more people can come in to this country legally.

Source: Face the Nation 2014 interview: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Feb 23, 2014

We've got a backwards system: low walls and a narrow gate

Q: Some of the more moderates are saying, "OK, instead of a path to citizenship, let's give those who are in this country right now a path to legalization, some sort of work card," that kind of thing.

JINDAL: When it comes to immigration, we've got a completely backwards system today. What I believe we need is a system of high walls and a broad gate. Right now, we've got the opposite. We've got low walls and a narrow gate. What I mean by that is we make it very difficult for people to come here legally. We make it very easy for people to come here illegally. As the son of immigrants, I think we should let more people come in to our country legally, because it's compassionate for them and because it's good for us. When people want to come here, work hard, play by the rules, that's good for America. And so, I think that this is a problem we can address. I think our system right now is completely backwards.

Source: CNN SOTU 2014 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Feb 2, 2014

A secure border means that border governors certify it

Q: Is there a political price for not acting this year?

JINDAL: Well, if Republicans act, I think we should do it because it's the right thing to do for the country, not because a pollster tells us. Look, right now, we're educating some of the world's best and brightest; then we kick them out of our country to compete with us. I do think it's right to say we need to secure the border first. I think the American people are compassionate. I don't think we're the kind of people that are going to kick people out of schools or hospitals or punish kids for what their parents have done. But I think it's also right the American people are skeptical. We've seen this play before. We remember what happened in the 1980s. So, we have to secure the borders--and I mean, let the border governors certify it as secure. Let's not measure it in terms of just dollars spend or effort expended. Let's actually look at results. Once we do that, I think there is broad agreement on legalization.

Source: CNN SOTU 2014 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Feb 2, 2014

Mexico is effectively exporting its unemployment to us

Our southern border is the only place in the world where a highly developed country shares a long border with a developing country. Unable to produce enough jobs for its roughly 100 million residents, Mexico is effectively exporting its unemployment to us. The income gap between the US & Mexico is the largest between any two contiguous countries in the world. This dichotomy has created the current immigration crisis, with an estimated 10 to 12 million illegal immigrants now residing in America.
Source: Leadership and Crisis, by Bobby Jindal, p.133 , Nov 15, 2010

Enforce existing laws & refocus on high-skill immigrants

The inscription on the Statue of Liberty, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free," is a beautiful sentiment. I wish it were as simple to apply it today as it was in past centuries, when we welcomed to our shores just about anyone who could get here. We need to find a controlled way to continue welcoming immigrants. That approach would require three main things: first, to ensure that our borders are secure--not talk about it or study it, just do it; second, enforce our existing immigration laws; and third, refocus our legal immigration policy to encourage high-skilled immigrants who embrace American values. I also think we need to continue to be a place where refugees fleeing persecution can find safe harbor and a new home. Immigration should help our country compete in the world and improve the quality of life for US citizens while offering unlimited opportunity to hard-working immigrants looking for freedom.
Source: Leadership and Crisis, by Bobby Jindal, p.130 , Nov 15, 2010

Voted YES on building a fence along the Mexican border.

Within 18 months, achieves operational control over U.S. land and maritime borders, including:
  1. systematic border surveillance through more effective use of personnel and technology; and
  2. physical infrastructure enhancements to prevent unlawful border entry
Defines "operational control" as the prevention of all unlawful U.S. entries, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, narcotics, and other contraband.

Proponents support voting YES because:

It is obvious there is no more defining issue in our Nation today than stopping illegal immigration. The most basic obligation of any government is to secure the Nation's borders. One issue in which there appears to be a consensus between the Senate and the House is on the issue of building a secure fence. So rather than wait until comprehensive legislation is enacted, we should move forward on targeted legislation which is effective and meaningful. The legislation today provides over 700 miles of two-layered reinforced fencing, and for the rest of the border provides a virtual fence, via integrated surveillance technology.

Opponents support voting NO because:

Just to build the fence is going to cost us at least $7 billion. Where is the money coming from to pay for it? How much is it going to cost to maintain this 700-mile fence? Who is going to do it? This bill contains no funding.

This bill also ignores real enforcement measures, like hiring more Border Patrol personnel, and instead builds a Berlin Wall on our southern border. So long as employers need workers in this country, and while our immigration systems impede rather than facilitate timely access of willing workers to those opportunities, undocumented immigration will never be controlled.

Walls, barriers, and military patrols will only force those immigrants to utilize ever more dangerous routes and increase the number of people who die in search of an opportunity to feed and clothe their families.

Reference: Secure Fence Act; Bill H R 6061 ; vote number 2006-446 on Sep 14, 2006

Voted YES on preventing tipping off Mexicans about Minuteman Project.

Voting YES on this amendment supports the Minuteman Project, a group of volunteers who have taken on surveillance of the Mexican border for illegal immigrants. The amendment states that US funds will not be used to tell the Mexican government about the whereabouts of the Minuteman Project volunteers. Proponents of the Minuteman Project say that they are volunteer citizens doing what the federal government SHOULD be doing, but has failed to do. Opponents of the Minuteman Project say that they are vigilantes at best and anti-Mexican racists at worst. The amendment states:
None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to provide a foreign government information relating to the activities of an organized volunteer civilian action group, operating in the State of California, Texas, New Mexico, or Arizona, unless required by international treaty.
Reference: Department of Homeland Security appropriations; Bill HR 5441 Amendment 968 ; vote number 2006-224 on Jun 6, 2006

Rated 100% by USBC, indicating a sealed-border stance.

Jindal scores 100% by USBC on immigration issues

OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2005-2006 USBC scores as follows:

About USBC (from their website, www.usbc.org):

U.S. Border Control, founded in 1988, is a non-profit, tax-exempt, citizen's lobby. USBC is dedicated to ending illegal immigration by securing our nation's borders and reforming our immigration policies. USBC [works with] Congressmen to stop amnesty; seal our borders against terrorism and illegal immigration; and, preserve our nation's language, culture and American way of life for future generations.

Our organization accepts no financial support from any branch of government. All our support comes from concerned citizens who appreciate the work we are doing to seal our borders against drugs, disease, illegal migration and terrorism and wish to preserve our nation's language, culture and heritage for the next generations.

Source: USBC website 06n-USBC on Dec 31, 2006

Government services in English only.

Jindal co-sponsored bill requiring government services in English only

A bill to provide that Executive Order 13166 shall have no force or effect, and to prohibit the use of funds for certain purposes.

Be it enacted that Executive Order 13166, 'Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency' (August 16, 2000), is null and void and shall have no force or effect.

On August 11, 2000, the President signed Executive Order 13166. The Executive Order requires Federal agencies to examine the services they provide, identify any need for services to those with limited English proficiency (LEP), and develop and implement a system to provide those services so LEP persons can have meaningful access to them.

Source: S.2719/H.R.768 08-S2719 on Mar 5, 2008

Declare English as the official language of the US.

Jindal co-sponsored declaring English as the official language of the US

This bill declares English as the official language of the United States, establishes a uniform English language rule for naturalization.

  1. The United States is comprised of individuals from diverse ethnic, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds, and continues to benefit from this rich diversity.
  2. Throughout the history of the United States, the common thread binding individuals of differing backgrounds has been the English language.
  3. Federal Representatives of shall have an obligation to enhance the role of English as the official language of the Federal Government.
  4. The official functions of the Government of the United States shall be conducted in English.
  5. All citizens should be able to read and understand generally the English language text of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the laws of the US.
  6. All naturalization ceremonies shall be conducted in English.
Source: English Language Unity Act (H.R.997) 2007-HR997 on Feb 12, 2007

Other governors on Immigration: Bobby Jindal on other issues:
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Charles Boustany
Eddie Rispone
John Bel Edwards
John Neely Kennedy
Ralph Abraham
LA Senatorial:
Antoine Pierce
Bill Cassidy
Charles Boustany
Foster Campbell
John Fleming
John Neely Kennedy
Joseph Cao
Rob Maness
Thomas Clements

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Page last updated: Apr 15, 2020