Skip to comments.Rand Paul's immigration speech
Posted on 03/19/2013 7:04:07 AM PDT by Perdogg
Por favor disculpen mi Espanol. Como creCI en Houston -es un poco espanglish y un poco Tex Mex. I lived, worked, played and grew up alongside Latinos. As a teenager I worked alongside immigrants mowing lawns and putting in landscaping around businesses.
I remember once asking one of the immigrant workers how much he was being paid. Cuanto le Pagan por el trabajo?
He responded tres dolars.
I responded, Yo tambien. Tres Dolars, por hora . . . ?
He shook shook his head, No tres Dolars, por dia!
At a young age, I came to understand that it makes a difference whether you are a documented immigrant or an undocumented immigrant, that the existence was not easy for the undocumented but that opportunity in America somehow trumped even the poor living conditions and low pay.
I wondered what circumstances must have been like in his country to choose an admittedly tough life in the shadows.
Growing up in Texas I never met a Latino who wasnt working.
In school, everyone took Spanish. I sometimes wish I had paid more attention in class. As a teenager, I was not always the model citizen that I am today
In my middle school Spanish class, my exuberance sometimes overcame my restraint and I would be asked to go to the principals office. My Spanish teacher would scold me,
En boca cerrada no entran moscas!
Cuando no lo escuchaba, I would often be sent to the Principals office.
In those days we had corporal punishment. After a few such trips to the principals office, I discovered that my Spanish teacher was married to the Assistant Principal and they were getting a divorce.
So when I was sent to the principals office, I would make the decision to go instead to the Assistant Principals office. He and I would commiserate: Oh man shes crazy! Youre right kid, just sit here today and go back tomorrow.
As a consequence, I never became as proficient with my Spanish as I would have liked because I spent a great deal of time in detention.
I read Miguel de Unamuno in college. I think he gives Republicans some good advice,
He wrote, Miremos más que somos padres de nuestro porvenir que no hijos de nuestro pasado
Republicans need to become parents of a new future with Latino voters or we will need to resign ourselves to permanent minority status.
The Republican Party has insisted for years that we stand for freedom and family values. I am most proud of my party when it stands for both.
The vast majority of Latino voters agree with us on these issues but Republicans have pushed them away with harsh rhetoric over immigration.
Immigration is a contentious issue in American politics. In our zeal for border control, we have sometimes obscured our respect and admiration for immigrants and their contribution to America.
Republicans have been losing both the respect and votes of a group of people who already identify with our belief in family, faith, and conservative values. Hispanics should be a natural and sizable part of the Republican base.
That they have steadily drifted away from the GOP in each election says more about Republicans than it does about Hispanics.
Whether we are discussing hard work, respect for life or the quest for freedom, immigrants bring with them the same values that previous generations of immigrants did.
Defense of the unborn and defense of traditional marriage are Republican issues that should resonate with Latinos but have been obscured by the misperception that Republicans are hostile to immigrants.
Somewhere along the line Republicans have failed to understand and articulate that immigrants are an asset to America, not a liability.
My German great-grandparents didnt speak much English when they came to America. They didnt have much, but they also didnt ask for much-all they wanted was an opportunity.
They began in America peddling vegetables. They finally got that opportunity when they started a dairy business in their garage, scraping together a living, raising a family, and constantly working to give their children a better life than they had.
My great-grandfather came to America in the 1880′s. His father died after only six months in America. At 14, my great-grandfather was alone.
He survived and ultimately thrived in his new country with a new language. In their home and their church they spoke German.
Republicans who criticize the use of two languages make a great mistake.
As the son of immigrants, my grandfather, who only had an 8th grade education, would live to see his own children all go to college. They became ministers, professors, doctors and accountants and one of them became a Congressman.
My familys story is like that of millions of others who came to this country. Every generation of immigrants wants these opportunities.
Many have faced intolerance and bigotry. It was not always easy to be German American in the face of two world wars started by Germans. Intolerance is not new, and it is not limited to one language or skin color.
But through our rich history, and for many millions of immigrants who came to America, such sacrifice and hardship was worth it. They wanted what all Americans want-better lives for themselves, their children and grandchildren.
For the American Dream to be achievable for all, we have to have an educational system that believes that all students have the capability to succeed.
Unfortunately, the education establishment seems to casually discard Latinos, blacks, and others into crummy schools with no hope.
I argue that the struggle for a good education is the civil rights issue of our day.
I love the story of Jaime Escalante.
In the area of East Los Angeles, in 1982, in an environment that values a quick fix over education and learning, Escalante was a new math teacher at Garfield High School determined to change the system and challenge the students to a higher level of achievement.
Escalante was at first not well liked by students, receiving numerous taunts and threats.
As the year progressed, he was able to win over the attention of the students by implementing innovative teaching techniques.
He transformed even the most troublesome teens into dedicated students. While Escalante was teaching basic arithmetic and algebra, he realized that his students have far more potential.
He decided to teach them calculus. To do so, he held a summer course in pre-calculus.
Despite concerns and skepticism of other teachers, who felt that you cant teach logarithms to illiterates, Escalante nonetheless developed a program in which his students can eventually take AP Calculus by their senior year.
Taking the AP Calculus exam in the spring of their senior year, his students were relieved and overjoyed to find that they have all passed, a feat done by few in the state.
My dream is that we transform the education monopoly into a thriving, competitive environment where Hispanic students get to choose what school they attend and that no student is forgotten or ignored.
Americas strength has always been that we are a melting pot with room for those who dare to dream. Ive seen firsthand what it is like for new immigrants in Texas.
Ive never met a new immigrant looking for a free lunch.
The question is: How do we now reflect this in our 21st century immigration policy?
It is absolutely vital for both the success of our immigration policy and for the purposes of national security that we finally secure our borders.
Not to stop most immigrants from coming-we welcome them and in fact should seek to increase legal immigration.
The Republican Party must embrace more legal immigration.
Unfortunately, like many of the major debates in Washington, immigration has become a stalemate-where both sides are imprisoned by their own rhetoric or attachment to sacred cows that prevent the possibility of a balanced solution.
Immigration Reform will not occur until Conservative Republicans, like myself, become part of the solution. I am here today to begin that conversation.
Lets start that conversation by acknowledging we arent going to deport 12 million illegal immigrants.
If you wish to work, if you wish to live and work in America, then we will find a place for you.
In order to bring conservatives to this cause however, those who work for reform must understand that a real solution must ensure that our borders are secure.
But we also must treat those who are already here with understanding and compassion.
The first part of my plan border security must be certified by Border Patrol and an Investigator General and then voted on by Congress to ensure it has been accomplished.
This is what I call, Trust but Verify.
With this in place, I believe conservatives will accept what needs to come next, an issue that must be addressed: what becomes of the 12 million undocumented workers in the United States?
My plan is very simple and will include work visas for those who are here, who are willing to come forward and work.
A bipartisan panel would determine number of visas per year. High tech visas would also be expanded and have a priority. Special entrepreneurial visas would also be issued.
Fairness is key in any meaningful immigration reform, but this fairness would cut both ways:
The modernization of our visa system and border security would allow us to accurately track immigration.
It would also enable us to let more people in and allow us to admit we are not going to deport the millions of people who are currently here illegally.
This is where prudence, compassion and thrift all point us toward the same goal: bringing these workers out of the shadows and into being taxpaying members of society.
Imagine 12 million people who are already here coming out of the shadows to become new taxpayers.12 million more people assimilating into society. 12 million more people being productive contributors.
Conservatives, myself included, are wary of amnesty. My plan will not grant amnesty or move anyone to the front of the line.
But what we have now is de facto amnesty.
The solution doesnt have to be amnesty or deportation-a middle ground might be called probation where those who came illegally become legal through a probationary period.
My plan will not impose a national ID card or mandatory E-Verify, forcing businesses to become policemen.
We should not be unfair to those who came to our country legally. Nor should we force business owners to become immigration inspectors-making them do the job the federal government has failed to do.
After an Inspector General has verified that the border is secure after year one, the report must come back and be approved by Congress.
In year two, we could begin expanding probationary work visas to immigrants who are willing to work. I would have Congress vote each year for five years whether to approve or not approve a report on whether or not we are securing the border.
We should be proud that so many want to come to America, that it is still seen as the land of opportunity.
Lets make it a land of legal work, not black market jobs. Lets make it a land of work not welfare. Our land should be one of assimilation, not hiding in the shadows.
On immigration, common sense and decency have been neglected for far too long. Lets secure our borders, welcome our new neighbors, and practice the values of freedom and family for all to see.
Some say to generalize about any ethnic group is be a racist. There is a hilarious Seinfeld episode where Jerry admits that he loves Asian women but he frets and worries, Is it racist to like a certain race?
So it is with trepidation that I express my admiration for the romance of the latin culture. I am a fan of Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
In Love in the Time of Cholera, Marquez gives some advice that Republicans might consider,
. . . human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, . . . life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.
Likewise, Republicans need to give birth to a new attitude toward immigrants, an attitude that sees immigrants as assets not liabilities.
No one captures the romance of the Latin culture more than Pablo Neruda.
I love how Neruda in Si tu me Olvidas issues a passionate threat but ends by saying,
si cada día,
sientes que a mí estás destinada
con dulzura implacable,
si cada día sube
una flor a tus labios a buscarme,
ay amor mío, ay mía,
en mí todo ese fuego se repite,
en mí nada se apaga ni se olvida
How can we not embrace such passion. How can we not want that culture to merge with and infuse the American spirit. They are not called the romance languages for no reason.
As we move forward on immigration reform, I for one will work to find a solution that both adheres to the rule of law and makes room for compassion.
My hope is that today we begin a dialogue between the GOP and Latinos.
A dialogue that shows that the GOP sees all immigrants as assets and that Latinos can come to see the GOP as the party of opportunity, the party of the American Dream, El partido del sueňo Americano.
If a poor Hispanic kid is brought here at 5 and lives here say 20 years to 25 then this is the only home they know.
They might not even know the Mexican language.
Getting a public school education here cant be much of a crime since its mandated by the courts, the schools are mandated to take them.
Now that Obama lets them stay if they apply as Dreamers it changes things some too.
They (Obama Dreamers) are not going anywhere and Hillary would most certainly extend that program when Hispanics come out and elect her in 2016, assuming they themselves dont have the vote by them per an amnesty bill.
Its not clear if states like AZ will be forced to give the Dreamers drivers licences. There was a court case and I dont remember it being settled.
I dont get my hopes up on stuff like this. If he is thinking of running for POTUS this is just the start
“I dont get my hopes up on stuff like this. If he is thinking of running for POTUS this is just the start “
He made too many ill informed, naive statements in his hispandering speech. He needs to stick to what he knows about when he filibusters. NOT good presidential material...going off on something he’s ignorant about..reminds me of Obama. Sorry!
And don’t ask me who is better...they all STINK.
Didn’t have to read the whole thing. He lost me at “undocumented immigrants”.
They’re ILLEGAL and no amount of whitewash changes that little fact!
Your welcome. It looks like Boehner and another secret group in the House is working to push this down our throat in much the same way Obamacare was passed. In the case of amnesty, it will be a combination of a small minority of Reps combining with the Dems to pass it. We are screwed.
Maybe they speak Austrian.
My guess is the US public schools taught them English esp if they started 5th grade here and made it through 12 years.
They might need some type of survival training to go live in Medico.
Now you see why I didnt take sides on that fight thread last Friday. You gotta watch them closely and read between the lines.
Ryan affects me that way. He starts saying Hannity type dumb stuff and I just have to change the channel.
Rand claiming that he never met an immigrant illegal or legal who wanted free stuff from the government was priceless.
How to speak Politician 101
'I never met a woman who got a headache'. soo I can do it too!
How about Rand claiming he never met an ‘immigrant’ (legal or illegal) who wanted free stuff from the gubment?
He’s gotta be running with lines like that.
‘I never met a man who liked beer’
‘I never met a woman who got a headache’
‘I never met a politician who lied or fibbed’
I can do it too LOL
Thanks, I am starting to think Rand is just blowing smoke like the others.
So given they are so dependent on all these welfare programs do ya think that they would support the Ryan plan, cutting those programs back with more income tax rate cuts included??
Maybe they expect to be billionaires someday?
Rub and Mccain say these illegals are natural conservatives, as Rand kind of did about.
New Tea party voters?
Prius says as soon as they get citizenship the GOP will welcome them in.
Uh no, Rand. You've got it backwards. That's what they do to the schools, not the other way around.
My kid goes to a poorly funded, antiquated school in California which is shockingly Caucasian.
The school has one of the highest ratings in the state.
The parents all volunteer, the kids all behave, and it's rather like paradise.
As a buddy of mine used to comment about MIT...it ain't the school, it's the students
Yep, what he said in that video doesn’t surprise me.
I have no doubt.
That is clearly their plan, to create more Dem Latino voters with amnesty who will vote for progressives.
Pretty good find that 2010 vid.
More recently while the hosts on MSNBC are dying to ridicule Mccain and Grahamnsety for what they see as half-hearted amnesty efforts, Latino progressive activists like Voto-latino’s Maria Teresa Kumar are telling them to back off till amnesty is passed.
I saw her do it on one of the MSNBC shows, maybe Sharpton. She said ‘We should praise them for their efforts not be critical’, she means efforts trying to convince enough Senators.
After amnesty passes they will give Obama all the credit and attack and go after even McCain+CO and then lay out many more conditions $$$$$ for getting their votes.
Well if you are a white hetro male then you have had racial privilege since Columbus hit the shores.
So Now its fairness time and the Wise Latino has ruled that one
white male Republican who watches FNC is worth 3/5ths Latino undocumented worker.
So its time to create new laws that you are breaking now to make it fair.
You got that thing registered law breaker?
Rand Paul thinks the GOP can win California and New England if he decides to sell amnesty. This was his reasoning months ago.
He really should be talking about PA with working class whites. It is much more competitive if the opponent is a white democrat. When you have a black celebrity on the ticket it is harder with Phillie turnout.
Rand Paul has called Israel an ally in the Paul. And Ron Paultard became an open borders prostitute in 2008.