A Connecticut Reader Forwards A Telling Quote From A Deceased Massachusetts Politician
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December 31, 2010, 04:00 AM
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From: Joseph Morabito (e-mail him)

I came across this 2006 interview with Teddy Kennedy regarding the role he played in the 1965 Immigration Act. This may be a useful link to post for users.

Kennedy was asked this question:

"What`s striking about the debate in 1965 is how so many people did not expect a huge increase in immigration, or a change in the demographics of the nation. You told Congress that immigration levels would remain `substantially the same,` and that `the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset.` Why weren`t these changes foreseen?"

[Q&A: Sen. Kennedy on Immigration, Then & Now, by Jennifer Ludden, May 9, 2006]

James Fulford writes: After considerable waffling when Kennedy tried to change the subject of the immigration numbers, and the problem of legal immigration, to " antagonism, frustration and anger " caused by  illegal immigration and the wonders of the  hardworking store owner whose " child is serving in the armed forces of the country",  we get this question and answer.

"Some have suggested it was a mistake to make family reunification the main purpose of our immigration law. They say perhaps we should have a system more like Canada`s, which lets people in based largely on their skills. How do you respond to these criticisms?

KENNEDY: I think our tradition of the Statue of Liberty is to be willing to accept the unwashed as well as the highly skilled. There are a lot of people who haven`t had opportunities in other places as a result of dictatorships and totalitarian regimes and discrimination. Are we going to say we refuse to let any of those individuals come in because we`ve got someone who has happened to have a more advantaged situation? I`m not sure that`s what this country is all about."

Well, apparently the "tradition of the Statue of Liberty" meant admitting the Kennedys in the 1840s.

How`s that working out for America?