Bill Weld on Immigration

Former Republican Governor; former Senate candidate (MA)


Fear-mongering about immigrants is like Nazi round-ups

Q: You recently likened Trump's immigration policies to what happened in Nazi Germany.

WELD: Sure did.

Q: Why?

WELD: I think that the Republican presumptive nominee has succeeded in tapping into the very worst political traditions of the United States and other countries. The amount of fear engendered in Europe with the knock at the door [from the police during WWII], Anne Frank hiding in the attic, hoping no noise will alert the Nazis below, they're directly analogous.

Q: And to liken it to genocide?

WELD: No, no. It's the roundup that he has proposed, the rounding up and deportation of 11 million people. I mean, that's a lot of people. And that's going to engender a lot of fear, pit citizens and noncitizens against the government, breed disrespect for authority. I just think it's not a realistic prescription whatsoever.

Source: 2016 CNN Libertarian Town Hall with Gary Johnson & Bill Weld , Jun 22, 2016

More H-1B visas; keep more foreign grads & entrepreneurs

It's time for both Democrats and Republicans to recognize the many compelling reasons for overhauling our current immigration system.

Start with the economic arguments, which are overwhelming. Our high-tech visa backlog is driving Microsoft and Facebook jobs to Dublin and Vancouver. Our rules on foreign graduates are sending young people home who would rather stay and work here. Instead of benefiting from our beacon of freedom, we are literally educating our competition, at the expense of US innovation and exports.

We have been just as shortsighted when it comes to attracting foreign entrepreneurs: Our system lacks a start-up visa for those seeking to found companies here.

Meanwhile, our annual caps on the number of all kinds of visas, from H-1B (specialty occupation) visas to permanent resident visas, are unrealistic. Many people become frustrated by the multiyear delays and give up their dream of trying to make a contribution here.

Source: William Weld and Susan Cohen editorial in Boston Globe , Apr 1, 2013

Current system is "de facto legalization" for 11 million

Our current patchwork immigration system has all the disadvantages of "de facto legalization" for illegal immigrants, but none of the advantages. Those 11 million undocumented workers manage to escape detection, so that's legalization of a sort. It sure beats being deported. But they don't get the benefit of legalizing their status, which would mean squaring their accounts with the government and being able to emerge from the shadows and strive openly to succeed here. Those 11 million people don't all need to become US citizens. They just need to start feeling that they can advance themselves without worrying that someone might notice and report them.

A principal argument against a probationary legal status (a status that has not yet ripened into a permanent right to stay) for millions of currently undocumented workers is that it creates "second-class citizens." But any type of status is better than the shadowy non-status they have now.

Source: William Weld and Susan Cohen editorial in Boston Globe , Apr 1, 2013

Other candidates on Immigration: Bill Weld on other issues:
2016 Presidential Candidates:
Donald Trump(R-NY)
Gov.Mike Pence(R-IN,VP)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(D-NY)
Sen.Tim Kaine(D-VA,VP)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Gov.Bill Weld(L-MA,VP)
Dr.Jill Stein(G-MA)
Ajamu Baraka(G-VP)
Roseanne Barr(PF-HI)
Evan McMullin(I)
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Page last updated: Aug 22, 2016