Wow, Rudy Giuliani's moving right on immigration so fast he's getting friction burns.
In an interview for the new book "Meet the Next President," Giuliani lamented that the Immigration and Naturalization Service deported only 700 to 1,500 of the city's 400,000 aliens each year during his mayoralty. Giuliani said it was obvious the INS was not about to increase deportation "from 700 or 1,500 to 400,000."
"If they could, I would have turned all the people over. It would have helped me. I would have had a smaller population. I would have had fewer problems," the Republican presidential candidate told The Examiner in an interview. "But the practical reality was, they were going to make an infinitesimal, statistically insignificant contribution to the problem. I was stuck with it. And no matter what their promises, they weren't going to do anything about it."
So was Giuliani just lying when, in 1998, he poured his heart out about the plights of NYC illegal immigrants?
We saw the Federal Immigration Law for what it was: an imminent threat to the nation. We understood that if New York City—a city that was built and continues to be built by the energy, drive and enthusiasm of immigrants—if New York City didn't speak up, we couldn't expect anyone else to.
After all, our most recognizable monument—the Statue of Liberty—is synonymous with both New York City and the process of immigration. Immigration is absolutely intrinsic to what New York City is. It was, therefore, incumbent upon us to take the lead and make a difference.
That's why over the last two years New York City joined together with groups across the country like LULAC and others. In the face of tremendous opposition, we raised the public discourse from one that was couched in fear and irrationality to one rooted in the facts. We helped to bring the country to a stronger and fuller understanding of the role of immigrants and the contributions that they make to society.
This was after he'd been re-elected mayor, when he was pondering a Senate race. If he really wanted to purge the city of illegal immigrants, or even to make the city comply with federal law, wouldn't he have said so?