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Ron Paul’s Comprehensive Anti-Immigration Reform

December 30, 2011

Ron Paul may be poised to score an upset in the Iowa Caucus next week, so this may be a good time to take a close look at his views on immigrants.

In a 2006 essay, Ron Paul laid out his opinion on immigrants, and it wasn’t good. The essay was written against the background of a growing movement for immigration reform. He did not just oppose reform, he deprecated those calling for change:

The recent immigration protests in Los Angeles have brought the issue to the forefront, provoking strong reactions from millions of Americans. The protesters’ cause of open borders is not well served when they drape themselves in Mexican flags and chant slogans in Spanish. If anything, their protests underscore the Balkanization of America caused by widespread illegal immigration. How much longer can we maintain huge unassimilated subgroups within America, filled with millions of people who don’t speak English or participate fully in American life?

Paul, always one of the staunchest opponents of immigration reform wrote that:

We must reject amnesty for illegal immigrants in any form. We cannot continue to reward lawbreakers and expect things to get better. If we reward millions who came here illegally, surely millions more will follow suit. Ten years from now we will be in the same position, with a whole new generation of lawbreakers seeking amnesty.

He also wants to get rid of part of the 14th Amendment granting citizenship to anyone born here. He appears to argue that citizenship should only be given to the children of immigrants who “assimilate themselves culturally”:

Birthright citizenship similarly rewards lawbreaking, and must be stopped. As long as illegal immigrants know their children born here will be citizens, the perverse incentive to sneak into this country remains strong. Citizenship involves more than the mere location of one’s birth. True citizenship requires cultural connections and an allegiance to the United States. Americans are happy to welcome those who wish to come here and build a better life for themselves, but we rightfully expect immigrants to show loyalty and attempt to assimilate themselves culturally. Birthright citizenship sometimes confers the benefits of being American on people who do not truly embrace America.

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