Bill Weld on Immigration

Libertarian Party nominee for Vice Pres.; former GOP MA Governor; 2020 GOP Presidential Challenger


Trump's deportation policy is like Nazi Germany

Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls , Feb 15, 2019

Guest worker program rather than path to citizenship

We should adopt a robust guest worker program, to assist our agricultural and construction industries, particularly in the western states. We don't need a path to citizenship for eleven million people, but we do need more and longer work visas. Under the current regime, we're simply educating our competition in our graduate schools, and then sending them home to China and other economic competitors of the U.S. We may not need a long impenetrable wall, but we do need short-term bridges.
Source: Speech in New Hampshire by 2020 presidential hopefuls , Feb 15, 2019

Fear-mongering about immigrants is like Nazi round-ups

Q: You recently likened Trump's immigration policies to what happened in Nazi Germany.

WELD: Sure did.

Q: Why?

WELD: I think that the Republican presumptive nominee has succeeded in tapping into the very worst political traditions of the United States and other countries. The amount of fear engendered in Europe with the knock at the door [from the police during WWII], Anne Frank hiding in the attic, hoping no noise will alert the Nazis below, they're directly analogous.

Q: And to liken it to genocide?

WELD: No, no. It's the roundup that he has proposed, the rounding up and deportation of 11 million people. I mean, that's a lot of people. And that's going to engender a lot of fear, pit citizens and noncitizens against the government, breed disrespect for authority. I just think it's not a realistic prescription whatsoever.

Source: CNN Libertarian Town Hall: joint interview of Johnson & Weld , Jun 22, 2016

More H-1B visas; keep more foreign grads & entrepreneurs

It's time for both Democrats and Republicans to recognize the many compelling reasons for overhauling our current immigration system.

Start with the economic arguments, which are overwhelming. Our high-tech visa backlog is driving Microsoft and Facebook jobs to Dublin and Vancouver. Our rules on foreign graduates are sending young people home who would rather stay and work here. Instead of benefiting from our beacon of freedom, we are literally educating our competition, at the expense of US innovation and exports.

We have been just as shortsighted when it comes to attracting foreign entrepreneurs: Our system lacks a start-up visa for those seeking to found companies here.

Meanwhile, our annual caps on the number of all kinds of visas, from H-1B (specialty occupation) visas to permanent resident visas, are unrealistic. Many people become frustrated by the multiyear delays and give up their dream of trying to make a contribution here.

Source: Editorial in Boston Globe, by William Weld and Susan Cohen , Apr 1, 2013

Current system is "de facto legalization" for 11 million

Our current patchwork immigration system has all the disadvantages of "de facto legalization" for illegal immigrants, but none of the advantages. Those 11 million undocumented workers manage to escape detection, so that's legalization of a sort. It sure beats being deported. But they don't get the benefit of legalizing their status, which would mean squaring their accounts with the government and being able to emerge from the shadows and strive openly to succeed here. Those 11 million people don't all need to become US citizens. They just need to start feeling that they can advance themselves without worrying that someone might notice and report them.

A principal argument against a probationary legal status (a status that has not yet ripened into a permanent right to stay) for millions of currently undocumented workers is that it creates "second-class citizens." But any type of status is better than the shadowy non-status they have now.

Source: Editorial in Boston Globe, by William Weld and Susan Cohen , Apr 1, 2013

Other candidates on Immigration: Bill Weld on other issues:
2020 Presidential Democratic Primary Candidates:
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

2020 GOP and Independent Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (Libertarian-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (Green-NY)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich (R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
CEO Howard Schultz (I-WA)
Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
V.C.Arvin Vohra (Libertarian-MD)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld (L-NY,R-MA)
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2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
State Rep.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

Page last updated: Feb 25, 2020