GOP Debate—Hardly Any Mention Of Immigration
January 25, 2008, 10:55 PM
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But a citizen, (not a media personality) sent this question in:
TASH: Mayor Giuliani, this question to you comes from Marshall Brannon (ph) of St. Petersburg.

Your immigration plan calls for all immigrants to learn English to gain citizenship. So why is your campaign airing an ad in Spanish?

GIULIANI: The reality is I believe that America is a country that is built around the English language. If you want to become a citizen, you should demonstrate your facility with English.

If you know other languages, that is wonderful and that's a wonderful thing and if we have substantial portions of populations that know other languages, I'm very comfortable trying to reach them in both English and in Spanish.

The core of my plan on immigration is to stop illegal immigration at the border, with a border stat system, with technology, with the increased border patrol. I believe we can stop the illegal immigration if we stop it right at the border.

And then we should develop a tamper-proof ID card so that people that want to come into the United States should be allowed to do that. We have to teach new behavior. The new behavior is if you want to come into the United States, you have to identify yourself, which, after all, makes the United States like every other country. Right?

You can't get into most countries without identifying yourself. And then if you've got the tamper-proof ID card, you'd be allowed to work, pay taxes, get online, become a citizen, follow the rules. But at the end of the line, you'd have to be able to read, write and speak English.

If you speak a second language or a third language or a fourth language, I think that's great for America. I think America has to be a country that has facility with more languages given the global economy we live in and I think we can be very comfortable with that.

But the focus has to be on being able to read, write and speak English if you want to be a citizen.[GOP Debate Transcript Part 4 - WPTV NewsChannel 5]

Actually, Giuliani is wrong—it would make America more competitive if more Americans could learn useful foreign languages like Arabic, Japanese, and Chinese, since it would reduce reliance on translators and such—but it doesn't help to import semi-literate Spanish-speakers from Mexico and Central America. What they do is establish Spanish-speaking colonias in America, sometimes taking over whole towns. And of course, the real reason he's running Spanish-language ads in the hope that he'll get some of those famous Hispanic votes. If there are any Hispanic Republican primary voters, Giuliani's immigration enthusiasm may be what they want.