Saturday, December 16, 2006
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson addressed the issue of immigration reform in a speech hosted by the Institute for International Law and Politics at Georgetown University on Dec. 7. Richardson, a Hispanic who served in the Clinton Administration, suggested four steps toward tackling the immigration issue: securing the border with more Border Patrol officers (and border fences will not work), increased legal immigration, preventing employers from hiring illegal employees, and providing a path to legalization for the millions of illegal immigrants already in the United States. For a report on the talk, click here. For the Richardson press release on his views, click here.
Earlier this year, the Washington Post radio show had an interview with Gov. Richardson on immigration. Richardson’s views were clear: 1. Democrats must focus on both border security and a guest worker program. Either one alone is not enough. There is a real “human” side to border security–he talks about the devastating effects New Mexico’s border problems have had for the people in his state. 2. We can’t just turn 11 million undocumented workers into felons and then deport them all. That solution is not realistic. Check out the audio of interview by clicking here.
Governor Richardson sounds like he is in line with the "comprehensive" immigration reform endorsed by the U.S. Senate earlier this year. However, he also sounds much like President Clinton on immigration (and crime) with one emphasis of his position being on increased enforcement. And recall what President Clinton ultimately did on immigration in response to the political winds -- increased border operations such as Operation Gatekeeper (resulting in thorusands of deaths) and signing into law the tough-on-immigrants 1996 immigration reform and welfare reform legislation.