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  1. #1
    Senior Member moosetracks's Avatar
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    Jun 2005

    Martinez: Open the presidency to immigrants

    Martinez: Open the presidency to immigrantsU.S. Sen. Mel Martinez said he favors stricter border patrols but sees nothing wrong with a foreign-born president.
    WASHINGTON - Florida's Republican Sen. Mel Martinez wouldn't mind seeing the U.S. Constitution amended so that foreign-born citizens could serve as president -- but not for himself.

    Speaking Friday at the National Press Club in advance of a return to the immigration debate in the Senate, the Cuban-born Martinez said the ban on foreign-born citizens serving as president is the ''one opportunity'' that's missing for striving immigrants in the United States.

    ''In a country where we don't put any limits on people's opportunity, it's one opportunity that's foreclosed,'' Martinez said.


    'I would love to be able to stand before you and say `There's nothing I cannot do in this country.' ''

    Martinez -- the first Cuban-born U.S. senator -- noted the ban potentially has prevented some ''brilliant people'' from serving.

    He offered as examples former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger -- ''not electable, probably, but a brilliant guy,'' and Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California.

    ''I would like to think in the future, after a long tenure of residency, there would not be an impediment to the highest office in the land,'' Martinez said, adding, to laughter, ``I'm not making an announcement today, I'm just saying what would be good for the country as a whole.''

    Supporters acknowledge the hurdles are daunting. Adopting constitutional amendments requires a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate, then approval by 38 legislatures.


    Martinez, like President Bush, favors comprehensive immigration reform that would include a path to citizenship for some illegal aliens, along with better border enforcement.

    ''I want the symbol of America to continue to be the Statue of Liberty, not a big old fence at the border,'' he said.

    But he suggested that Bush, by focusing first on a guest worker policy, had ''got one step ahead of himself,'' and needs to offer immigration critics some concrete proposals for tightening border security in his address to the nation Monday.

    Martinez, who arrived in the United States from Cuba legally in 1962, sought to portray the debate in personal terms.

    ''I remember when I began to dream in English,'' he said. ``I think immigrants come to this country not to change America, not to make my native language the tongue of this country, but immigrants come to this country to be changed by America. To make contributions.''

    Martinez has criticized demonstrators at immigrant rallies for waving flags from other countries, and he told the audience Friday that the massive pro-immigration demonstrations have been counterproductive.


    Across town, members of the Minuteman Project, an anti-immigration group whose members patrol the U.S.-Mexican border in search of illegal border-crossers, decried the Senate legislation -- which Martinez has championed.

    Martinez -- noting he is ''not prepared'' to join the group -- said he understood their frustration about lack of border enforcement, and as long as they weren't breaking the law he suggested they were welcome to assist law enforcement.

    But he criticized as unrealistic calls to deport the estimated 11 million to 12 million undocumented immigrants.

    ''How do you carry that off?'' he said. ``Send people with trucks to round people up?'' ... 569023.htm

    THE LAW WHERE THE CANDIDATE BE BORN HERE, SHOULD NEVER BE CHANGED! We have elected too many foreign born, that are NOW working for their race only....not working for America and Americans!
    Do not vote for Party this year, vote for America and American workers!

  2. #2
    Senior Member WavTek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    North Carolina
    ''How do you carry that off?'' he said. ``Send people with trucks to round people up?''
    I'm so tired of hearing this. He knows very well that by securing our borders and enforcing our laws, that there would be a gradual, but effective reduction in the illegal alien population. When they use that arguement, you know they have lost the debate.

  3. #3
    breezy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1970

    Mel Martinez reply to me

    Thank you for contacting me with your support for homeland security enhancement and comprehensive immigration reform. I appreciate hearing from you and would like to respond to your concerns.

    Like you, I strongly believe that one way to safeguard our homeland and halt the flow of illegal immigrants is to work tirelessly to secure our borders. On October 28, 2005, President George W. Bush signed into law the Homeland Security Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2006 (P.L. 109-90), which includes more than $30 billion to protect our homeland. It specifically sets aside $2.3 billion for the Border Patrol to improve and expand its stations, to install and improve fencing, lighting, and vehicle barriers along the border, and to acquire technologies, such as portable imaging machines, sensors and automated targeting systems that focus on high-risk travelers and goods. However, this is just a start, as Congress begins to review the President's recently submitted fiscal year 2007 budget request. Please know, I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure substantial additional resources are made available to the Department of Homeland Security and the Border Patrol.

    There were approximately four million illegal immigrants living in the United States, when Congress last addressed the issue of comprehensive immigration reform in 1986. Today, it is estimated there are more than 11 million. Those immigrants who enter our country illegally, and those who employ them, disrespect the rule of law. We live in a time where terrorists are challenging our borders, and we simply cannot allow people to pour into the United States undetected, undocumented, and unchecked. Americans are right to demand better border security and better enforcement of immigration law.

    Further, American employers need to take responsibility when determining the immigration status of individuals they hire. Too often illegal immigrants attempt to enter the United States chasing the promise of a job, only to risk survival and face even death crossing the desert or never find a job at all. In the interest of cheap labor, unscrupulous employers look the other way when employees provide fraudulent citizenship documents. This hurts both American workers and immigrants whose sole aim is to work hard and get ahead. It is imperative that we implement a simple, fool-proof and mandatory mechanism for all employers to check the legal status of new hires.

    However I believe to further protect our nation, we must contend with scores of illegal immigrants living and working within our borders without our knowing their identity or background. That is why we need to develop a guest-worker program that will replace the flow of illegals with a regulated stream of legal immigrants who enter the United States after a series of checks. This would enhance our nation's security by protecting our citizens from terrorists that may exploit the openness of our society.

    If we hope to bring the 11 million undocumented immigrants out into the open, we must give them a reason. This means granting those with jobs interim legal status to work with the opportunity, after paying penalties and without amnesty to eventually earn citizenship. We can do this by imposing a hefty fine for having illegally entered out country, and by forcing the undocumented to go to the back of the line in their pursuit of citizenship. The interim status should only apply to those already here, so as to not open the door for others.

    We cannot claim to have dealt with the problems of illegal immigration if we ignore the illegal resident population or pretend that they will leave voluntarily. Some of the proposed ideas in Congress provide a temporary legal status and call for deportation, but fail to answer how the government would successfully deport this large amount of people. If temporary legal status is granted, but the policy says these immigrants are never good enough to become Americans, then the policy makes little sense. However, without solving the porous border or incentive problem the population of illegals will only grow.

    Successful, comprehensive immigration reform can be achieved by combining strong border control legislation with a realistic workplace and an earned citizenship program. These three pillars of immigration reform are found in three separate pieces of legislation I have cosponsored -- the Strengthening America’s Security Act (S. 1916), the Employment Verification Act (S. 1917), and the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act (S. 1033). Please know that, I will work with my Senate colleagues to ensure that the ideas included in these important pieces of legislation are incorporated into the immigration reform process.

    Again, thank you for sharing your views. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me. In addition, for more information about issues and activities important to Florida, please sign up for my weekly newsletter at


    Mel Martinez
    United States Senator

    .....What do you think?

  4. #4
    Senior Member 31scout's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Scranton, Pennsylvania
    Might as well give them the presidency, they've taken everything else!
    Of course maybe an illegal immigrant might do a better job than the boob we have now. After all, they do work hard and listen to the people they work for unlike you know who!
    <div>Thank you Governor Brewer!</div>

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