Yesterday on CNN, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales admitted that he doesn’t know if his grandparents came from Mexico to the United States legally or illegally, but that his family’s story is the “American dream.” Watch it:
Gonzales’s story contrasts with the right-wing rhetoric protesting illegal — and often legal — immigration.
Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO), 4/29/03:
I believe that the demand and push for manufactured diversity in every facet of our lives has a political motivation. … I am gravely concerned that our recent and current immigration is not of the same character as our historic immigration and that the impact and effect will be to weaken our civic culture and our political institutions that guarantee life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Rep. Steve King (R-IA), 3/30/06:
[A “ruling class” of rich Americans have] made enough money by hiring cheap illegal labor that they think they also have some kind of a right to cheap servants to manicure their nails and their lawn.
Full transcript below:
BLITZER: Give us your — tell our viewers who aren’t familiar your personal story, how you got to where you are, your grandparents, your parents. They struggled, they came here. I don’t know if they came here legally or illegally. But give us the story.
GONZALES: Well, three of my grandparents were born in Mexico. They came to Texas. My parents — both my parents were born in Texas extremely poor. My mother…
BLITZER: When they came to Texas, were they legally documented, were they un-legally documented?
GONZALES: You know what? It’s unclear. It’s unclear.
And I’ve looked at this issue, I’ve talked to my parents about it and it’s just not clear.
But in any event, my mother had a 2nd grade education — my father had a 2nd grade education, my mother had a 6th grade education. And my father worked construction.
And so, for me, my life has — represents the American dream.