Last Year, Still No Sign of Rudy the Nativist

rudolphgiuliani 1 Last Year, Still No Sign of Rudy the NativistEarlier today, the Washington Examiner reported that Rudy Giuliani says in a new book that he would have deported New York’s 400,000 illegal immigrants if given the chance.

The Caucus points out that Giuliani expressed the opposite opinion in 1994. Which is true.

But in a speech given much more recently, in April 2006 as he was preparing for his presidential run, that Giuliani gave no indication that he supported any sort of widespread deportation. At a Manhattan Institute dinner, he said that it was also worth considering the argument about many illegal immigrants that "they’re not really doing damage to our society, might even be making vast contributions to it."

He said that a House bill at the time proposing punitive measures for illegal immigrants was too harsh and unenforceable. "So," Giuliani added, "we have to find a way and I think that the compromise the Senate was looking at something along those lines makes sense."

Giuliani also said nothing about deportation when he talked about his vision for dealing with the issue.

"Give people a way to earn citizenship, give them a way to earn citizenship in which they have to demonstrate facility with English and they have jobs and they’re paying taxes and they’ve put themselves in an entirely legal status, recognize the economic forces that are realistic ones that require people to come into the United States or require people to have people come into the United States, and you identify them and you have them pay taxes and you find out who they are and then you concentrate on the people who are avoiding that and you’ll be capable of doing that because it’ll be a problem the dimensions of which you can touch and feel and measure and see and it’ll be much harder for terrorists to hide in a situation like that."

Rudy’s full remarks from the Manhattan Institute:

In accepting the Alexander Hamilton award from the Manhattan Institute at Cipriani’s, Giuliani said the following.


"[Hamilton] was one of our first great immigrant success stories. He’s a man that was born outside of the United States, came here, poor family, very poor and he had to build a better life for himself and for his family and he did that in a way that made it a better life for us in many, many ways. And I think that, you know, we’re going through a very serious debate on immigration and I think that I look at it from the point of view of how do we create more security for the United States? How do we, in an era of a war on terrorism, which is going to continue for the indefinable future, and then some of the other problems that we have, how do we create more security? And I think that either extreme is not the right answer."

"One extreme is what I would call the punitive approach, which is reflected in the House legislation that was passed, which is to make it a crime to be an illegal or undocumented immigrant; it is illegal now but it’s not a crime and I believe, if I recall correctly, that it would make it a five-year felony and there are 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States. It would become a law that was honored in the breach and it could not possibly be enforced. To give you the dimensions that I remember, at least when I was the Mayor, it’s estimated that there are about 400,000 people in that category in New York, it could be more now but it used to be about 400,000. The Immigration and Naturalization Service, I believe, deports about 1,500 to 2,000 people a year so I pretty quickly figured out that I was going to have 398,000 illegal immigrants no matter what the federal government did and I had to do something sensible about it rather than something stupid and kind of make it work in the society in which we exist."

"Well, that’s really the picture for the whole country and to deal with it in a punitive way is actually going to make us considerably less secure than we already are because the problem is that we have such a huge underground that we can’t really keep account of who’s here, who they are, identify them, and kind of separate the ones that are here for benign or neutral purposes, which we can argue about the competitiveness and the economy and everything else, but they’re not really doing damage to our society, might even be making vast contributions to it, and then focus on the people that we have to focus on who are the people that might come here to carry out terrorist acts or to sell drugs or to commit crimes and the reason we can’t do that well is that we have a system already that’s unenforceable, that’s unrealistic given the numbers of people that want to come here, the size of our borders, the number of resources that we could conceivably have to apply to it."

"So the right answer is to do the things that have to be done to secure our borders, introduce new technology, require more of people in describing who they are, identify them effectively, fingerprint them or finger image them if you have to, photograph them, come up with cards for them, use the modern methods that we presently have for identifying people but don’t try to legislate against the inevitable forces of, you know, social movement and the economy because it isn’t going to work. So we have to find a way and I think that the compromise the Senate was looking at something along those lines makes sense."

"Give people a way to earn citizenship, give them a way to earn citizenship in which they have to demonstrate facility with English and they have jobs and they’re paying taxes and they’ve put themselves in an entirely legal status, recognize the economic forces that are realistic ones that require people to come into the United States or require people to have people come into the United States, and you identify them and you have them pay taxes and you find out who they are and then you concentrate on the people who are avoiding that and you’ll be capable of doing that because it’ll be a problem the dimensions of which you can touch and feel and measure and see and it’ll be much harder for terrorists to hide in a situation like that."