by John Hawkins | August 9, 2007 2:30 am
In a way, this is sort of ironic because you have Mitt Romney, who has a really weak record on illegal immigration, attacking Rudy Giuliani, who has an even worse record on the issue. In other words, this is like Lindsey Graham launching a salvo at Ted Kennedy for not being serious about securing the border,
In one of the strongest conflicts yet between Republican presidential front-runners, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney attacked rival Rudy Giuliani Wednesday, implying that Giuliani supported illegal immigration when he was mayor of New York.
“If you look at lists compiled on Web sites of sanctuary cities, New York is at the top of the list when Mayor Giuliani was mayor,” Romney said at the Abbey Hotel here. “He instructed city workers not to provide information to the federal government that would allow them to enforce the law. New York City was the poster child for sanctuary cities in the country.”
…he Giuliani campaign issued a statement rejecting the charge.
….At a June 1994 press conference, Giuliani decried anti-illegal immigration policies as unfair and hostile.
“Some of the hardest-working and most productive people in this city are undocumented aliens,” Giuliani said at the time. “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, which is really unfair.”
At a speech in Minneapolis in 1996, Giuliani defended Koch’s executive order, that, in his words “protects undocumented immigrants in New York City from being reported to the INS while they are using city services that are critical for their health and safety, and for the health and safety of the entire city.”
“There are times when undocumented immigrants must have a substantial degree of protection,” Giuliani said.
…Giuliani has long faulted the federal government for not doing enough to secure the borders. But liberal immigrants’ rights groups generally give him high marks during his tenure for sensitivity to their issues.
In 1996, Giuliani compared “the anti-immigration issue that’s now sweeping the country” to “the Chinese Exclusionary Act, or the Know-Nothing movement — these were movements that encouraged Americans to fear foreigners, to fear something that is different and to stop immigration.”
That same year he sued the federal government for new provisions in federal immigration laws that would encourage government employees to turn in illegal immigrants seeking benefits from the city.
He said educating the children of illegal immigrants made sense.
“The reality is that they are here, and they’re going to remain here. The choice becomes for a city what do you do? Allow them to stay on the streets or allow them to be educated? The preferred choice from the point of view of New York City is to be educated,” Giuliani claimed.”
Both of these guys have a horrible record on illegal immigration and both of them support comprehensive immigration reform. On the other hand, neither of these guys were dumb enough to support the disastrous Senate bill that the open borders and amnesty crowd wanted to push through.
The truth is that despite the impression they’re trying to give people, neither of these guys probably has views on immigration that differ significantly from those of George Bush, John McCain, or Mel Martinez and you can’t really trust them on the issue.
That’s why the best thing conservatives can do with both of these candidates is try to get them on the record, in detail, as much as possible on illegal immigration. That way, if they do get the nod, their promises can be used as a leverage point if and when they get into office. But, make no mistake about it, if they don’t make a promise on a particular point, don’t expect them to act significantly different than Trent Lott or Arlen Specter would in similar circumstances.
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