Fred Thompson on Immigration
Former Republican Senator (TN)
Special status for illegals disrespects legal immigrants
Q: The majority are in favor of granting legal status to undocumented aliens if they meet certain criteria. If the majority supports that, why not support that idea?
A: Because we have to enforce our borders, and we have to uphold the law. There are
millions of people who have stood in line in US embassies around the world, waiting to become American citizens, waiting to become legal residents of the US. But when they finally come here, and when they are joined by those people in Latin America who
have often fought tyranny, who have fought against the Castro regime, who have come here and risked their lives to become US citizens, when all those people come here, they become a part of us; they become a part of our family. It would disrespect them
if we said other people who had not obeyed the law and had not gone through the process, to set them above them and to give them special status above those who have obeyed the law and fought so hard to become good American citizens and legal residents.
Source: 2007 Republican primary debate on Univision
Dec 9, 2007
Focus on chain migration, not anchor babies
Q: There are still millions of children that were born here that at least have one undocumented parent. Do these children have the right not to be separated from their parents?
A: Our courts have ruled that such babies born here are US citizens.
That’s part of the 14th Amendment as has been interpreted by the courts. I believe that the concentration should not be on the concern of waiting until that child grows up and serves as an anchor baby, as we hear so much talk about.
I believe the concern should be chain migration. Right now, we have a situation where people can bring in spouses, children, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers and so forth. I think that people should be able to serve as a basis for the bringing in of
their spouses and of their children, but I do not think there should be endless chain migration. So I think that is the issue to focus on, and not innocent children who are born here not of their own accord and who our courts have said our US citizens.
Source: 2007 Republican primary debate on Univision
Dec 9, 2007
Pledges to veto any immigration bill that involves amnesty
Q: Will you pledge tonight, if elected president, to veto any immigration bill that involves amnesty for those that have come here illegally?
A: Yes, I pledge that. A nation that cannot and will not defend its own borders will not forever remain a sovereign nation. And it’s unfair.
Source: 2007 GOP YouTube debate in St. Petersburg, Florida
Nov 28, 2007
Voted for law to abolish sanctuary cities
THOMPSON: I voted for and we passed an anti-sanctuary city bill, outlawed them. Mayor Giuliani went to court, filed suit himself to overturn our abolition of sanctuary cities. And, fortunately, he lost.
GIULIANI: New York City had a policy of allowing people who are illegal immigrants to report crime and to put their children in school. Otherwise, we reported every single illegal immigrant that committed a crime.
The results were pretty darn good. I brought down crime by over 60%. I brought down homicide by 67%. I had the most legal city in the country. And I took the crime capital of America and I turned it into the safest large city in the country.
The senator has never had executive responsibility. He’s never had the weight of people’s safety and security on his shoulders. I have. And I think I out-performed any expectations.
Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida
Oct 21, 2007
Secure our borders and end “sanctuary cities”
The United States is a nation of immigrants. Throughout our history, legal immigrants have brought energy, ideas, strength, and diversity to our country, our economy, and our culture. This must continue.
But in the post-9/11 world, immigration is more of a national security issue. A government that cannot secure its borders and determine who may enter and who may not, abrogates a fundamental responsibility.
I am committed to:
Source: Campaign website, www.Fred08.com, “Issues”
Sep 20, 2007
- Securing our borders and enforcing immigration laws. Amnesty is not an option and the toleration of “sanctuary cities” must end.
- Reviewing our immigration laws and policies
to ensure they advance our national interests.
- Uniting Americans by welcoming legal immigrants willing to learn English, assimilate into our communities, and become productive citizens.
Protecting our border is part of being a sovereign nation
When we look to Washington, we see a bureaucratized government that is increasingly unable or unwilling to carry out basic governmental functions, including the fundamental responsibility of securing our borders against illegal immigration and enforcing
our laws. A nation that can’t protect its border will no longer be a sovereign nation.
Source: Candidacy announcement speech
Sep 6, 2007
Eliminate welfare incentives for illegal immigrants
Thompson has been a consistent supporter of conservative immigration proposals that would improve border security; eliminate incentives for illegal immigrants to come to the US & obtain welfare benefits; and strengthen employment verification procedures.
He has an “A+” rating from Americans for Better Immigration for his senate voting record on border security issues:
Source: Press Release, “Pro-Border Security”
Sep 5, 2007
- OPPOSED the McCain-Kennedy Immigration Reform Bill.
- OPPOSES amnesty for illegal immigrants.
- SUPPORTS tougher border control
along the US/Mexican border.
- SUPPORTS increased penalties against alien smuggling and document fraud.
- Voted For the “Illegal Immigration Reform & Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.”
- Thompson said, “Most Americans know that we have an illegal
immigration problem in this country, with perhaps as many as 20 million people residing here unlawfully. And I think most Americans have a pretty good idea about how to at least start solving the problem--secure our nation’s borders.”
Immigration reform failed because feds lost credibility
The recent immigration bill failed for good reason. The federal government simply had no credibility on the issue. Current laws have not been enforced. The federal government has been failing in its fundamental responsibility to control the borders.
Worse, when state officials have tried to act with reforms of their own, federal authorities have gotten in the way. Many in both parties in Congress have learned a lesson: promises about immigration reform aren’t worth much unless you have credibility.
Source: Campaign website, www.Fred08.com, “Principles”
Sep 1, 2007
Immigration in large part has to do with national security
The immigration problem has to do with immigration, but it in large part has to do with national security. We live in a world now; we have inherited a world that is watching the attempted marriage between radical Islamic fundamentalism and nuclear
technology. We live in a world where 40 countries have fissile materials sufficient to make a nuclear weapon, and the bad guys are trying their best to get their hands on it. And we live in a country with porous borders and porous ports,
and it doesn’t take a genius to put all that together and see the problem that we’ve got in this country. And I think people are going to demand that we address that first. I don’t think the 12 million illegal aliens that are here are as much a concern a
12 million and the next 12 million on infinitum. We were told before that there was a solution to this if we would only pass a bill, but we did that in 1986 and now we’re coming back with the same old stuff.
Source: Address at the Lincoln Club 45th Annual Dinner
Aug 3, 2007
Opposes amnesty in any form
Thompson has made it clear that he opposes amnesty, in any form, and that securing our borders from a further flood of those who do not enter legally is essential to the security of the US: “As usual, we avoided the illegal-immigration problem for
as long as we could. I think its time for a little plain talk to the leaders of Mexico. What does it say about the leadership of a country when that country’s economy and politics are dependent upon the exportation of its own citizens?”
Source: The Fred Factor, by Steve Gill, p.160-162
Jun 3, 2007
Nation loses sovereignty if it cannot secure its own borders
Somewhere between 12 and 20 million people had somehow come into this country unnoticed. It’s like we went overnight from “no problem” to a problem so big that it now defies a good solution.
We know that the overwhelming majority of illegals come
across the Mexican border. Fortunately, we’ve got someone who is all too willing to tell us what we should do about it -- president Calderon of Mexico.
Pres. Calderon criticizes our efforts to secure the border with things such as border fencing.
He apparently thinks we should do nothing except make American citizens out of his constituents.
I think its time for a little plain talk to the leaders of Mexico. Something like:
Hey guys, you’re our friends and neighbors and we love you but it’s time you had a little dose of reality. A sovereign nation loses that status if it cannot secure its own borders and we are going to do whatever is necessary to do so.
Source: Thompson’s blog on ABCradio.com, “Southern Exposure”
Apr 13, 2007
Can’t round up 12M illegals, so focus on preventing next 12M
Q: You favor comprehensive immigration reform?
A: No, no.
Q: You said last year about illegals, “You’re going to have to, in some way, work out a deal where they can have some aspirations of citizenship but not make it so easy that it’s unfair to
the people waiting in line and abiding by the law.” And you said, “Look, it’s just not realistic that we’re going to round up 12 million people and ship them all out of the country.”
Well, that’s true, as a general statement. We woke up one day after years of neglect and apparently discovered that we have somewhere between 12 million and 20 million illegal aliens in this country. So it became an impossible situation to deal with.
I mean, there’s really no good solution. So what do you do? You have to start over. Well, I’m concerned about the next 12 million or 20 million. So that’s why enforcement, and enforcement at the border, has to be primary.
Source: Fox News Sunday: 2007 “Choosing the President” interviews
Mar 11, 2007
Voted YES on allowing more foreign workers into the US for farm work.
Vote to create a national registry containing names of U.S. workers who want to perform temporary or seasonal agricultural work, and to require the Attorney General to allow more foreign workers into the U.S. for farm work under H-2A visas.
; vote number 1998-233
on Jul 23, 1998
Voted YES on visas for skilled workers.
This bill expanded the Visa program for skilled workers.
Status: Bill Passed Y)78; N)20; NV)2
Reference: The American Competitiveness Act;
Bill S. 1723
; vote number 1998-141
on May 18, 1998
Voted YES on limit welfare for immigrants.
This amendment would have restored food stamp benefits to the children of legal immigrants
Status: Motion to Table Agreed to Y)59; N)41
Reference: Motion to table Kennedy Amdt #429;
; vote number 1997-111
on Jun 24, 1997
Page last updated: Feb 08, 2010