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Ex-Governator Talks Immigration Reform

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CALITICS - As the days of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s administration continue to drift into the rearview mirror, sometimes one can let time put that hazy mist that makes everything look a little nicer right over the whole thing.

And a little sugarcoating can do that as well. Take for instance our former Governor campaigning for immigration reform last night: 

As a teenager in his native Austria, Schwarzenegger saw the United States as the only place he could achieve his outsized dreams. The 11 million immigrants now in the country illegally are not so different from his younger self, he told an audience Tuesday at the USC think tank that bears his name. 

"These are all very hardworking people. They have a dream. They want to make their dream a reality," he said. 

Then, Schwarzenegger turned the stage over to two US senators at the epicenter of the immigration debate in Washington. The conversation turned to the practical matter of vote-getting. (LA Times)   

Considering there is a lot of work left to do on immigration reform to get comprehensive reform through the Senate, all help is welcome. But, just so we are clear here, this is that same former bodybuilder in 2005: 

"I think they've done a terrific job," Schwarzenegger said of the "Minuteman" volunteers, who plan to expand to California in June. "They've cut down the crossing of illegal immigrants a huge percentage. So it just shows that it works when you go and make an effort and when you work hard. It's a doable thing." 

The governor added that, "It's just that our federal government is not doing their job. It's a shame that the private citizen has to go in there and start patrolling our borders." (LA Times)   

The Minutemen were a group so extreme that George W Bush called them vigilantes in condemnation. But, whether it was just through lack of understanding, callousness, or actual support, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger praised them profusely. And the following year, during his reelection campaign, he reaffirmed that support

However, time marches on, and Schwarzenegger does have an impressive story as an immigrant. It is a pity that he didn't stress that story to improve the lives of other immigrants earlier, but better late than never.

 

(Brian Leubitz holds a law degree from the University of Texas and a Master of Public Policy (M.P.P) from the Goldman School at The University of California, Berkeley. He is the publisher and editor of Calitics.com where this piece was first posted.) –cw

 

 

CityWatch

Vol 11 Issue 36

Pub: May 3, 2013

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