Where They Stand: Immigration

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It's A Free Country and The Brian Lehrer Show bring you the fall election series 30 Issues in 30 Days. We will explore one issue every day until election day - issues of relevance to the NY, NJ and CT elections and the national midterm congressional races. Next week, we'll be looking into the issue of immigration. Here is what our research found the two candidates for Governor say about the issue.

Carl Paladino (R):

  • “My father was an immigrant; my wife's forebears were immigrants. Legal immigration helped make this country great. Legal immigration will continue to add to the strength of our nation. However, I am completely opposed to any form of amnesty or other political solution aimed to absorb illegal immigrants into the fabric of America. These people took advantage of the United States; they broke our laws and many jumped on New York's Medicaid and social welfare systems the day they arrived. “
  •  "We’re not going to allow undocumented aliens, okay, or illegal immigrants to take part in our social welfare and our Medicaid systems in the State of New York," he said. "Our taxpayers didn’t buy into that."
  • “You can’t be a resident of the state of New York if you’re not legal. So if you’re not legal, you go. That’s it. I’ll send state police and I’ll encourage all the local police departments to go out and we will also ensure that they not receive any benefits. We’re going to require proof of identification, proof of citizenship or a green card, and if they don’t have it, they’re gone. It’s going to lower the population of New York City for a while.”
  • “Generally if you’re an illegal immigrant, go and get yourself legal, or we don’t want you in our borders. We don’t want you in this state. Leave. Go someplace else.”

Andrew Cuomo (D):

  • "We are the welcome mat for the nation. We are founded on the premise that we can say to the people all across this globe: Come here, we invite you.”
  • Cuomo opened a comprehensive probe into immigration fraud in 2009.
  • From Cuomo's THE NEW NY AGENDA: A PLAN FOR ACTION:  "We are a nation of immigrants and many of our forefathers and mothers came through Ellis Island in the hope and promise of a new beginning. It is critically important that we not allow the exploitation of immigrant communities. We must continue to fight immigration fraud, like those individuals and companies who exploit and target vulnerable immigrants by providing unauthorized and fraudulent immigration services. Moreover, we must continue to make sure that these communities do not face discrimination and receive fair wages and a safe workplace."