Thursday, December 11, 2003

Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge advocates border policy reform, residency for illegal immigrants

Ridge notes tax and social contributions made by illegal immigrants in U.S., proposes lifting of requirement that aliens leave the country before applying for legal residency.

"Ridge said he thinks the body politic is about ready to address the issue of the illegal immigrants, who he said contribute to communities and Social Security and pay taxes. He referred to a growing number of bills that would grant residency to some of those living here illegally. He said one of these, which would require all illegal immigrants to leave the country before applying for residency, is 'not workable.'"

"'I'm not saying make them citizens, because they violated the law to get here,' he said. 'So you don't reward that type of conduct by turning over a citizenship certificate. You determine how you can legalize their presence, then, as a country, you make a decision that from this day forward, from this day forward, this is the process of entry, and if you violate that process of entry we have the resources to cope with it.'"

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