Town Square

Condoleezza Rice says immigration reform essential to strong economy

Original post made on Apr 24, 2013

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice led a bipartisan gathering of politicians in Menlo Park on Tuesday to discuss the importance of moving ahead with national immigration reform.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 9:36 AM


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Posted by ellie
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 24, 2013 at 10:37 am

This is the woman who told us there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and talked of mushroom clouds to scare the bejesus out of everyone.

Her opinion, her judgement, her track record is pitiful. She should be ignored at every turn and not have her war crimes forgotten.

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Posted by Janet
a resident of Menlo Park
on Apr 24, 2013 at 10:39 am

Is this why so many Stanford construction trucks were diverted from Sand Hill to Alpine?

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Posted by Paly Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Apr 24, 2013 at 10:45 am

So many high skilled immigrants wouldn't be needed if the UCs favored CA residents to overseas students. We need to be able to educate our own high tech people rather than filling the UCs with overseas students who want to stay here to take jobs which high tech can't fill because there are not enough CA residents graduating from the UCs to take all the high tech jobs.

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Posted by non-office holding repubs
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Apr 24, 2013 at 10:50 am

Not sure we need to blame Condi entirely for her pitiful record.

Was the appointment of a supposed "Russia expert" to Nat'l security Advisor just a smokescreen, knowing she would never fight Cheney on his catastrophic plans? Or was Bush so stupid as to think that Russia was our biggest enemy after the USSR self destructed because of their Afghan/Vietnam disaster?

So now we have another (unelected non-office holding) republican leader who advocates immigration reform, the same as all the (unelected non-office holding) republican leaders now supporting gay rights.

Big whoop. Let me know when an ELECTED republican leader changes his (old, white) stance on real issues.

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Posted by Condi-again?
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 24, 2013 at 12:01 pm

I agree with the above posts- well except I have no idea re the construction trucks. But - yes she was an expert in Russian history. That did not make her an expert in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan relations as she soon showed us. Yes, Bush appointed her- but she should have said that her expertise does not extend to those other countries. I think that she was more interested in furthering her own career( as she still is). A pity! She lied to him and us re the WMD. She is up in her ivory tower at Stanford. What does she know about immigrants? Not knowing something does not seem to stop her from giving her opinion. Luckily- nobody seems to care about what she says, nor is listening.
Yes the UCs this year are accepting many more foreign students because they pay full fees. And many of our local students are having a harder time getting accepted at local colleges. And this situation will affect their ability to then find jobs.
Every so often Condi says something just to remind us that she is still here. I do not want to be reminded. She did the Americans serious damage- both costing us the lives of many soldiers, and costing us a lot of money. Shame on her!

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Posted by Wondering?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 24, 2013 at 12:23 pm

> Rice said immigration was one of the great
> "mobilizers of human potential" that keeps the
> U.S. at the top of world in influence and innovation.

Wonder if Ms. Rice has anything good to say about the value of native born “Americans”? Doesn’t seem to have to say about those of us born here in this article.

Anyone remember the last time Ms. Rice has made any suggestions about the state of the American education system? It’s really difficult to believe that with 330M US native born, that we can not educate our own citizens to the level that countries like China and India can educate those we import. So, Ms. Rice—what do you think about the failure of our education system to provide the necessary number of adequately-educated young people to make the American economy function properly?

Since the days of Johnson’s “Great Society” we have spent trillions in transfer payments to the bottom rung of American society, including recent immigrants (like the Tsarnaev family). So, how many people are living on welfare in the US?

Web Link

The number stated that receive any portion of their support from welfare assistance--including food stamps--it is 29,900,000 or roughly 8% of the total population in the United States.

This breaks down to:

39% white 11,661,000 of 29,900,000 recipients

38% black 11,362,000 of 29,900,000

17% Hispanic 5,083,000 of 29,900,000

So—why are 30M Americans, legal and illegal immigrants, on welfare—and now we need to import tens of millions more? What will it take to get these people off of the dole, and into productive roles like the rest of working America?

So—Ms. Rice .. what say you about the high incidence of welfare among so many people—both native born and immigrants?

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Posted by wonderful
a resident of Community Center
on Apr 24, 2013 at 12:36 pm

"I'm not here over politics,"

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Posted by non-office holding repubs
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Apr 24, 2013 at 12:46 pm

"So—why are 30M Americans, legal and illegal immigrants, on welfare" Uhhhh, well, the Bush Great recession answers a lot of it.

Take a look at the math: Web Link

How can you have job losses in the 800,000 per month range in Dec 2008 and Jan 2009 and not have a lot of folks on SNAP?

btw: lumping food stamps and welfare together doesn't give a true picture. Try posting the numbers for welfare alone.

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Posted by Wait a Minute
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 24, 2013 at 4:10 pm

If the US provided a college education gratis to every qualified student citizen, we would not need students and employees from overseas in the well-paying jobs. Nearly every other country on the planet does this for its qualified citizens, except for the US, Liberia, Lesotho, Niger, and Sierra Leone!

The politicians saying these things are hiding a secret stay in office due to newly legalized immigrant voters. They are NOT doing what is best for this country, they are creating an UNDERCLASS of American citizens!

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Posted by Dolores
a resident of Menlo Park
on Apr 24, 2013 at 6:00 pm

It is very true the comment of ellie.
Perhaps all the negative events that happened in recent years are due to the "absence of
To read more about it anybody can click on the web page: Web Link
in order to learn how to avoid more troubles in the future.
Congratulations to Ellie and to the ones who can see the reality.

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Posted by Go Away
a resident of Santa Rita (Los Altos)
on Apr 24, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Senate testimony, under oath:

"RICE: I remember very well that the president was aware that there were issues inside the United States. He talked to people about this. But I don't remember the Al Qaida cells as being something that we were told we needed to do something about.

BEN-VENISTE: Isn't it a fact, Dr. Rice, that the August 6th PDB warned against possible attacks in this country? And I ask you whether you recall the title of that PDB?

RICE: I believe the title was, Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States"

Case closed.

One would think, out of embarrassment alone, Ms Rice would refrain from further public comment. At least Gen Powell admits his mistake, and of being used.

go away.....

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Posted by beulah
a resident of South of Midtown
on Apr 24, 2013 at 10:49 pm

Ms Rice was ill-informed, inept, and useless. Too bad Stanford took her back. Still missing the point.
Our native-born citizens could fill a lot of jobs currently taken by immigrants, legal & otherwise. We should reinstate vocational training in middle & high schools to train the non-AP students to learn job skills. Auto shop, woodworking, drafting, welding, cobbling - these are trades we need which could very well be done by non-immigrants.
HB visas for highly skilled foreign workers is another area where we should hire citizens first, as other posters have said above.

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Posted by Wondering?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 25, 2013 at 8:31 am

> lumping food stamps and welfare together doesn't give a true picture.

That’s a fair point. Unfortunately, since welfare is typically a state-run program, it’s a little hard to find a single source of data that is also accurate. Remember, people move on/off the welfare roles monthly.

Here’s welfare and food stamp data (ca. 2007-2008):
Web Link

This data is about four years old. The welfare numbers probably are not too different, but it’s clear that the Obama Administration has been pushing people into various Federal giveaway programs, like food stamps, which is not fraught with fraud.

100M Now Receiving Federal Welfare:
Web Link

"The federal government administers nearly 80 different overlapping federal means-tested welfare programs," the Senate Budget Committee notes. However, the committee states, the figures used in the chart do not include those who are only benefiting from Social Security and/or Medicare.

Food stamps and Medicaid make up a large--and growing--chunk of the more than 100 million recipients. "Among the major means tested welfare programs, since 2000 Medicaid has increased from 34 million people to 54 million in 2011 and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps) from 17 million to 45 million in 2011," says the Senate Budget Committee. "Spending on food stamps alone is projected to reach $800 billion over the next decade."

Which leads us back to Ms. Rice and her views on why the Federal government should have 100M people (out of 330M) on its “welfare”/transfer payment rolls, and then believe that “immigrants” are going to “keep the economy strong”? One “Bushism” that I think did not sit well with most US working citizens is that “immigrants are taking the jobs that Americans don’t want”. Well, with 100M receiving handouts from Uncle Sam, it seems like these people don’t want any jobs at all!

So—why shouldn’t the government be getting these bums off the dole, and into some sort of productive work. During the 1930s—FDR created the CCC and the WPA. Why shouldn’t able-bodied welfare recipients be ordered into CCC and WPA-type programs instead of sitting at home, watching TV, and complaining about how little is in their welfare checks?

> Bush's "recession" ..

Really? You going with that? Well, after five years--it's Obama's now!

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Posted by maguro_01
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 25, 2013 at 8:47 am

Well, it is a real privilege to brain-drain the world. We know around here that we can get good colleagues and good neighbors out of it. The difficulty is that the numbers indicate that most of the work visa holders are average tech workers and it has had the natural effect of suppressing the local (US) production and employment of tech workers. It's a labor market like any other.

The original H1-B program was a production of our Pay-To-Play Congress in 1990. An increase to 195,000 on Oct 3, 2000 passage was a classic. When most of Congress had left to listen to a Bush II/Gore debate the quorum theoretically still existed. The 40 House members remaining voted on the bill by voice vote - no fingerprints for the folks at home. Even Speaker Dennis Hastert was quoted in the news as saying it was what the CEOs wanted, not the voters. The devil is in the H1-B details. The employing company has to get the visa and any Green Card later associated with it. Between those two events the worker has been effectively indentured. Further, the prevailing wage nonsense seems to ignore the hours worked.

The visas were in three categories, EB-[1-3]. EB-1 are stars (First Preference), EB-2 close, and EB-3, the majority, average for tech workers. US workers can and have to compete with world wage rates and productivity. But it's not possible to compete with indenture.

The newer programs like a Green Card with a Master's Degree would seem to be an improvement when the school/program quality is monitored. But the new programs are always added to the old ones - they don't replace them even partially. Add the work visas plus L-1's and so on and we must still be over 100,000 in an ordinary year now with large increases possible.

US tech students sniff the air and often get Masters in Marketing or Business in hopes of being able to work past 40. That is, a grad engineer, including good ones, may get a few jobs but can't really have a career any more. We do have the difficulty that the Washington Pay-To-Play system is being more and more driven by US multinationals that may not have American goals at all. The problems do not all come from our would-be Plutocrats famous in the last few Presidential and Congressional contests. Not at all. Some lobbying comes from fronts like the US Chamber of Commerce and its SuperPACS, and American Crossroads or Crossroads GPS SuperPACS. But the institutionalized corruption of the Pay-To-Play politics system, a Founding Flaw, is quite bipartisan.

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Posted by not wondering
a resident of University South
on Apr 25, 2013 at 11:32 am

@wondering said: "Bush's "recession" .. Really? You going with that? Well, after five years--it's Obama's now!"

@non-office holding repub said: YES!!! and proved the recovery is all Obama with the link provided Web Link

From 800,000 jobs lost in December 2008 to our current recovery WITHOUT ANY REPUBLICAN HELP, yes, thank you President Obama!

Too bad, @wondering was too lazy to even open the link and look at facts.

Or, as the only American president in history to ever balance a budget said: In Tampa, the Republican argument against President Obama's re-election was pretty simple: we left him a total mess, he hasn't cleaned it up fast enough, so fire him and put us back in!

The success Obama has had is indeed weak, but spectacular when measured against Bush and the mess Bush left, and the battle the republicans have waged against Obama and working Americans.

That's why he won in a landslide.


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Posted by GOP economic failures
a resident of Woodside
on Apr 25, 2013 at 11:44 am

"Why shouldn’t able-bodied welfare recipients be ordered into CCC and WPA-type programs instead of sitting at home, watching TV, and complaining about how little is in their welfare checks?"

Democrats have wanted another jobs creation for years. Republicans fight and block them, claiming austerity works (it doesn't, all real world evidence shows austerity weakens recovery.)

Put Americans back to work. Rebuild our education systems and prepare America and Americans for the future.

Jobs = paychecks = taxes paid = revenues up = balanced budgets

Just ask Bill Clinton. He created 23 million jobs on his watch, and left Bush a budget surplus. George Bush created what, maybe a couple million?

How many republicans have ever balanced a budget?

NEVER listen to republicans on how to run an economy. They will run it. INTO THE GROUND. Again. Always have, always will, unfortunately.

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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 25, 2013 at 4:03 pm

>> NEVER listen to republicans on how to run an economy.

Odd that 30 of our 50 states have republican governors.

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Posted by mistakes are mistakes
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 25, 2013 at 5:08 pm

"Odd that 30 of our 50 states have republican governors. "

We re-elected Bush, also. Mistakes have, and will continue to be made. Doesn't make it right.

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Posted by er
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Apr 25, 2013 at 6:25 pm

If only these politicians ACTUALLY CARED about people.

They dont.

They have just twigged that Mexicans if legalized are a lot of voters. Poor, unemployed, undereducated, - what do they care if we cannot look after them, so long as they vote.

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Posted by Sue
a resident of Menlo Park
on Apr 26, 2013 at 1:11 am

No matter what the subject is, I would never trust the judgment of Condolezza Rice. She lied about going to war with Iraq regarding weapons of mass destruction. She is something else. Never trust a liar. I don't care how many degrees she has, she lies. Period. I don't like her opinions and I don't like her. I just do not want anything to do with, nor do I want to listen to, the opinions of liars.

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Posted by boscoli
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 26, 2013 at 6:31 am

Trusting Condi's advise on anything is analogous to taking the advise of an alcoholic about drinking habits. She is a pathological liar, and incompetent bumbler and a lifelong brown-noser. It's bad enough that she is disgracing Stanford with her association to that great university. The fact we also have to hear her opinions is truly distressful. This woman should be in a Hague cell for war crimes, not speaking her mind while still at large.

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Posted by ODB
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 26, 2013 at 8:33 pm

The U.S. unemployment rate has been too high for the past 4 - 5 years (worse in California) so why are we talking about putting people from other countries to work here? This is what Zuckerberg wants to do with his new scheme to buy off politicians. They want to "import" cheap labor as if it were an inanimate commodity.

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Posted by Jed
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 27, 2013 at 11:44 pm

Stanford seems to be very proud to have a bungling former diplomat on campus. Cheer leader for a deadly, costly, pointless war in Iraq, completely bungling the real war in Afghanistan, Bush Yes woman.

But she is an accomplished pianist.

She is imminently qualified to comment on immigration reform.