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Goode On Whether There Are ‘Too Many Middle Easterners’ In U.S.: ‘I’m Not Gonna Say Yes Or No’

By ThinkProgress on December 21, 2006 at 5:05 pm

"Goode On Whether There Are ‘Too Many Middle Easterners’ In U.S.: ‘I’m Not Gonna Say Yes Or No’"

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Anti-Muslim Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA) appeared on Fox News this afternoon to talk about his “fear” that “we will have many more Muslims in the United States.” Host David Asman twice asked Goode to say whether he believes “there are too many Middle Easterners here now.”

After trying to dodge the question once, Goode answered, after a long pause, “Uh, I’m not gonna say yes or no on that. I’d like to know the exact number. I don’t have the exact numbers.” Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2006/12/goode.320.240.flv]

Later, Goode said he did not believe Muslim Rep.-elect Keith Ellison (D-MN) should be prohibited from bringing a Koran to Congress “but I am for restricting immigration so that we don’t have a majority of Muslims elected to the United States House of Representatives.”

Full transcript:

ASMAN: What is the Virgil Goode position?

GOODE: David, I believe we need to totally stop illegal immigration, reduce legal immigration, and do away with visas.

ASMAN: Describe what diversity visas are.

GOODE: The diversity visa program was one that was instituted about a decade ago to increase the number of visas and immigrants from persons not from the European countries, and the diversity visa program lets in about 50,000 persons per year. They are from different countries, a number from the Middle East. There are also some terrorist states that are included in the diversity visa programs, as defined by the Department of State.

ASMAN: But Congressman, you do single out people from the Middle East. You say, President Clinton has allowed too many people from the Middle East to come to this country.” So you do believe there are too many Middle Easterners here now?

GOODE: No — I, I said there — in the diversity visa program needs to be ended. It shouldn’t have been adopted to begin with, in my opinion.

ASMAN: But do you think there are too many Middle Easterners in the United States right now?

GOODE: Uh, I’m not gonna say yes or no on that. I’d like to know the exact number. I don’t have the exact numbers. I know, in the diversity visa program, a number do come from the Middle East, roughly in the neighborhood of 10 to 20 percent, and that’s 50,000 per year total in the program.

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