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Undocumented immigrants shouldn't replace legal ones. By Nolan Rappaport

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© Getty Images

President Bill Clinton’s 1995 State of the Union included the following remarks:

“All Americans, not only in the states most heavily affected, but in every place in this country, are rightly disturbed by the large numbers of illegal aliens entering our country. The jobs they hold might otherwise be held by citizens or legal immigrants. The public service they use impose burdens on our taxpayers.”

“We are a nation of immigrants. But we are also a nation of laws. It is wrong and ultimately self-defeating for a nation of immigrants to permit the kind of abuse of our immigration laws we have seen in recent years, and we must do more to stop it.”

Clinton is not the only Democrat who has spoken out against illegal immigration. The Republicans provide a number of examples in a blog they posted recently: “The Democrat Hard Left Turn on Illegal Immigration.”

  • In 1993, then-Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.), said, “When it comes to enforcing laws against illegal immigration, we have a system that will make you recoil in disbelief. … Yet we are doing almost nothing to encourage these people to go home or even to deter them from coming here in the first place.”
  • In 1994, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) ran a political ad showing illegal immigrants crossing the border and promised to get tough on illegal immigration with more "agents, fencing, lighting, and other equipment."
  • In 2006, then-Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.) said "Better fences and better security along our borders" would "help stem some of the tide of illegal immigration in this country."
  • In 2009, during a speech at Georgetown Law, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said, "When we use phrases like 'undocumented workers,' we convey a message to the American people that their government is not serious about combating illegal immigration, which the American people overwhelmingly oppose."
  • The blog also provides video clip links, including one that shows Clinton receiving a standing ovation for his remarks about Americans being disturbed by the large numbers of illegal aliens entering the country.

We don’t have reliable information about aliens who enter illegally.

We have a screening process for aliens seeking admission as lawful permanent residents. Aliens who enter the country illegally are not screened, and usually there is no reliable way to determine who they really are or where they are from when they are apprehended.

Read more at:

Published originally on The Hill.

About the author. Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an executive branch immigration law expert for three years; he subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years.

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Updated 06-05-2018 at 11:32 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs


  1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    I don't know whether to laugh or cry whenever I read about how unauthorized immigrants are responsible for taking away jobs from American workers and lowering Americans' salaries and living standards - while the Trump administration has virtually declared war on ordinary American working people in every way imaginable.

    For a report on at least 35 ways in which Donald Trump and his Republican supporters are damaging the interests of ordinary working people (millions of whom voted for Trump based on his promises to help them by "draining the swamp" in Washington, see:

    Yes, the union-busting, anti-labor Republicans have plenty to cry about when they blame unauthorized immigrants for hurting American working people - crocodile tears.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 06-05-2018 at 09:05 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  2. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Roger, the claim that unauthorized workers takes jobs away from American workers was made by Bill Clinton.

    And this is all I said about lowering salaries.

    EPI found that the ability of U.S. employers to exploit unauthorized workers undercuts the bargaining power of U.S. workers who work side by side with them. When the wages and labor standards of unauthorized immigrants are degraded, it has a negative impact on the wages and labor standards of U.S. workers in similar jobs.

    You should read articles more carefully before you comment on them.

    Nolan Rappaport
    Updated 06-05-2018 at 09:24 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  3. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    And has Nolan read the article I cited above about how Trump is doing everything possible to destroy the wage levels, bargaining rights, job security and standard of living of the same American workers whose interests he is using as a pretext for his agenda of scapegoating Latino and other brown immigrants for all of America's problems?

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 06-06-2018 at 09:05 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
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