During this speech she gave to a group of wealthy Republican donors, she essentially said that the United States was founded by immigrants, supported by immigrants and was great because of the contributions of immigrants, legal and illegal. She said:
"It doesn't matter where you came from, it matters where you're going. Frankly, it hasn't mattered whether it was Sergei Brin, whose parents brought him here at 7 years old from Russia and he founds Google, or the guy who came to make five dollars and fifty cents."
Obviously, this sentiment won't be well-received by people who think the U.S. should close its borders behind an iron wall and only allow those who can pay to get in, because basically, getting into the United States takes time and money. It is one of the most difficult states for immigrants to settle in because the process is so long and cumbersome. This is true whether you're a Canadian with a six-figure income or a poor Mexican trying to make a better life for your family.
What Condi didn't mention is all those undocumented immigrants who made it big in the United States. These are people that conservatives and Teapublicans would love to throw out for not being "American" enough. There's an entire list of people who came to this country illegally, and one of them includes a former governor.
- CÃ©sar Millan, the Dog Whisperer -- He came from the streets of Mexico, poor and with few opportunities. In his book, CÃ©sar's Way, he writes that it's virtually impossible for a member of the poor or working class in Mexico to come to the United States legally.
- Salma Hayek, Hollywood star -- For a short time, she was an undocumented immigrant living in the United States.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hollywood star, former California governor -- He denies ever having been illegal, but the San Jose Mercurey News discovered that he probably violated the terms of his B-1 athlete's visa multiple times as a young man by working in the United States. In 1971, he worked as a bricklayer...three years before getting his residence visa that would permit him to work.
- Michael J. Fox, Hollywood movie star -- Yes, that's right. America's beloved star was actually an illegal immigrant from *gasp!* Canada for a short time. He had applied for a work visa but it hadn't been issued yet, so he entered the country anyway. Imagine a world without Marty McFly. Not good.
As a conservative, you might say, but those people actually contributed something. They weren't a drain on our economy. Sure, but what of those other thousands of immigrants who come who don't become celebrities? What are their contributions? Surely they don't just sit around having babies collecting welfare, now, do they? Of course not.
Immigrants pick the food you see on your plate. In 2011, when Georgia implemented its hard-nosed illegal immigrant policy, thousands of undocumented immigrants left the state, leaving small and large farmers in the lurch with no one to pick berries and other crops. Very few Americans simply did not want to do those jobs. They'd try it out for a day, go to lunch, and never come back.
Think about all the services you enjoy. Somewhere along the way, an illegal worker probably contributed to your enjoyment.
The United States needs immigrants and the immigration policy needs to be overhauled drastically. The current state of the process is so riddled with red tape that it's virtually impossible for those who need it most to come here for better opportunities.
Condoleezza Rice told Charlie Rose that there was "no way" she would accept a VP bid if offered. Perhaps she is smarter than to join a campaign with a man whose morals and business ethics are as shallow as the water in a backyard bird bath. After all, she was already a member of one of the worst presidential administrations in the country. Why join another train wreck? She's got a good job at Stanford she probably doesn't wish to leave.
Â©2012 Reno Berkeley for Gather News.