Top Republican Governor Speaks, Shockingly, With Common Sense on Immigration


Governor Haley Barbour, Miss.(R)

Reading through the Cato Institute’s blog this morning, I found out that not all Republicans are on the immigrant dehumanizing bandwagon. Haley Barbour, Republican governor of Mississippi and Chairman of the Republican Governors Association, spoke thus, as excerpted onto Cato’s blog:

Let me just tell you, I’ve had a different experience than perhaps some other governors. I don’t know where we would have been in Mississippi after Katrina if it hadn’t been for the Spanish speakers that came in to help rebuild, and there’s no doubt in my mind some of them weren’t here legally. Some of them were, some of them weren’t. But they came in, they looked for the work—if they hadn’t been there, if they hadn’t come and stayed for a few months or a couple of years, we would be way, way, way behind where we are now.

Every country—I don’t care if it’s the United States of America or Papua New Guinea, every country has gotta have a secure border. If you can’t secure your border, you’re not much of a country, and we’ve gotta secure our border. But we’ve gotta do so with the recognition that even in our lifetime we’re gonna have a labor shortage in the United States. We don’t want to be like Japan, where the aging population is supported by fewer and fewer and fewer and fewer.

So there’s gotta be a way—a) we gotta secure the border, but b) we’ve got to work through how are we gonna make sure we’ve got the labor we need in the United States. H1B visas—a huge, huge thing. My idea is everybody from Stanford who’s from India that gets a PhD, we oughta stamp citizenship on his diploma, so instead of him going back to India and starting a business that employs 1,800 people, that he’ll start a business that employs 1,800 people in Des Moines, Iowa, instead of India. A lot of this is just common sense, and common sense tells us we’re not gonna take ten or twelve or fourteen million people [currently here illegally] and put them in jail and deport them. We’re not gonna do it, and we need to quit—some people need to quit acting like we are, and let’s talk about real solutions.

Instead of demonizing an entire population, Barbour actually thanked Spanish speaking immigrants(undocumented or not) –for what they did for his state and his people. Now that’s how one should start a conversation when tackling the issue of immigration reform: No puffed up, dangerous rhetoric.  Just speaking within reality.

Barbour’s approach even parts with the current activity of Democrats, who these days speak and act on enforcement first, second, third, and,  if the latter works out, maybe get to those pesky humans. Note that his mention of the border being secure is immediately followed by “but” and acknowledges the source of why people migrate here illegally in the first place. In any good faith discussion of immigration reform, neither border security nor the issue of the undocumented can be analyzed in isolation, and Barbour seems to know that, or more appropriately, publicly acknowledge it.

More politicians, both Republican and Democrat, know what Barbour does, yet will refuse to publicly acknowledge it due to election purposes. Which needs to stop, or immigration reform will never take place.


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One Response to “Top Republican Governor Speaks, Shockingly, With Common Sense on Immigration”

  1. Governor Haley Barbour’s Double Speak on Immigration « El Gringo Gigante Says:

    […] Republican Governor Haley Barbour of Mississipi has been lauded in some circles(including right here on this blog), for his common sense, anti-GOP establishment stance on immigration. To wit, he said […]

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