Today, Sarah Palin visited Ellis Island and the “Statute” of Liberty as part of her One Nation tour. “It’s one of the symbols of course of our country, and it’s a reminder too that immigrants built this country,” Palin stated at a press conference. “So we want to make sure that we’re highlighting that on our bus tour, maybe so that the present day immigrants know how much we appreciate them and their work ethic, and their love of country and freedom.”
Yet, Palin noted that there is a limit when it comes to her appreciation of immigrants. Exceptions include undocumented youth who were brought to the U.S. by their parents at a young age and who want nothing more than the ability to contribute to society after going to college or enrolling in the military:
PALIN: The immigrants of the past, they had to literally and figuratively stand in line and follow rules to become U.S. citizens. I’d like to see that continue. And unfortunately, the DREAM Act kind of usurps that-the system that is a legal system to make sure that immigrants who want to be here legally, working hard, producing and supplying revenue and resources for their families, that they’re able to do that right and legally. Unfortunately, the DREAM Act doesn’t accomplish that.
Watch footage of Palin’s remarks:
Actually, the DREAM Act aims to accomplish precisely what Palin described. Under the DREAM Act bill that Republicans killed last December, applicants would have had to go through a rigorous process of background checks, in addition to paying taxes, learning English, and either serving in the military or attending college. They would have then received a “conditional nonimmigrant” status and would be required to “stand in line” for ten years before being granted legal immigrant status. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the same bill would reduce the deficit by $1.4 billion over ten years.
Palin, who has not ruled out the possibility of running for president, set forth an incoherent immigration platform in 2010. When Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly asked her what she would do about immigration if she ever became “President Palin,” she responded, “Let’s keep it simple and let’s say ‘no, if you were here illegally and if you don’t follow the steps that at some point through immigration reform we’re gonna be able to provide — and that is somehow to allow you to work — if you don’t do that, then you’re gonna be gone.’” Palin seemed to suggest that for those who follow the rules, “there has to be that expectation that they will work and that they will contribute.”