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GOV. BILL RICHARDSON (D), NEW MEXICO: Thank you, Ed. Thanks for having me.
SCHULTZ: What do you make of this reversal? I think it"s big, because, obviously, he was the choice of the Republican Party. He"s hot on the campaign trail of just less than 24 months ago. He ought to have a pulse of where the country is. And now he does a 180.
Do you think that is really connected to their lack of focus in the Republican Party? Your thoughts?
RICHARDSON: Well, my view is that he is in a tough re-election and a primary against J.D. Hayworth, and this is such a hot issue in Arizona.
My hope, Ed, is after he gets re-elected, that he will come back to his old position, which was, as you said, the Kennedy/McCain bill, which has increased border enforcement, but also has a path to legalization, a guest worker program, cracking down on illegal hires. But most importantly, a path to legalization. What do we do with the 11 million that are here?
And his bill had very sensible provisions. To stay, you have to learn English, pay back taxes, you have to pass a background check. You have to embrace American values. That"s the comprehensive immigration that we need.
SCHULTZ: But now he says ship them back. I mean, how are you going to move, 12, 15, 20 million people out of the country? Isn"t this somewhat of a --
RICHARDSON: You can"t.
SCHULTZ: It"s a radical position, is it not?
RICHARDSON: It is. It"s the extreme position of the Republican Party, which basically says all we need to do is shout down the border and have no legalization, and that"s our immigration policy.
That not only is going to divide the country, it"s going to hurt our foreign policy. It"s going to really discriminate against racially profiling Hispanics. It"s the worst of all worlds.
SCHULTZ: Now, Governor Richardson, just an honest take on this, and not partisan, and I know that your character plays to that. You"re a straight shooter.
Has President Obama doesn"t job on this issue? Now, he"s only been president, you know, less than two years. He"s thrown more resources at the border. But has he done as much as he can do, in your opinion?
RICHARDSON: Well, and I"m going to be honest. I do think he has.
I was very pleased with the lawsuit that was filed yesterday that basically says this is a federal issue. It"s an unconstitutional law what Arizona passed.
It really, Ed, is the Congress that has to respond. And the president has laid out a path on legalization.
He has said that he"s going to increase National Guard at the border.
He"s done that--Border Patrol.
I was pleased with his speech last week. But, you know, at the same time, if you"re going to get into immigration reform, you"ve got to have some Republicans. And right now it doesn"t seem we have any. Maybe Lindsey Graham. Hopefully, John McCain after he gets re-elected.
So I do think the president has stepped up. I want to see Democrats in Congress step up, and a few Republicans.
I want them to say that we"re not just going to do energy, we"re not just going to deal with the economy, because this immigration reform issue is really a hot-button issue that, unless we act, Ed, a lot of other states are going to do what Arizona did, and that really is going to hurt the country. It"s going to hurt our image abroad. It"s going to hurt our foreign policy.
And it"s basically, if the law is implemented in Arizona, you"re going to have a lot of Hispanics that are Arizonans. Thirty percent of that state is Hispanic. They"re going to get racially profiled, and that"s wrong.
SCHULTZ: So the Arizona law, in your opinion, does lead to racial profiling?
RICHARDSON: Well, it does, because what it is, is you have to basically carry some kind of identification papers. The law says that. And who is the ones that are going to get pulled over by some very honest and competent policeman?
It"s going to be those that look suspicious, i.e. Hispanics. So, it is going to lead to that. And what I think is also important is that the administration proposed an injunction so this law doesn"t take effect at the end of this month. It"s really important that the Congress--yes.
SCHULTZ: Governor Richardson--yes, no doubt. Thanks for joining us on your vacation. I didn"t mean to have you put on a tie tonight.
RICHARDSON: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: I"m feeling guilty. I just got off vacation. I know how important those things are. You know?
Bill, thanks so much.
RICHARDSON: Thank you. Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: For more, let"s bringing in Frank Sharry, founder and executive director of America"s Voice. He is a key leader in the immigration reform community.
Frank, good to have you with us tonight.
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