Keith Fitzgerald, Democrat candidate for Congress in Florida’s District – 13, is quoted in a 1997 Sarasota Herald-Tribune column stating, “[I]llegals are are often good hires … they’re better employees than Americans.” This came up during a debate with Representative Vern Buchanan this week. Buchanan paraphrased what Fitzgerald said in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune column. It is interesting that Fitzgerald, who wrote a book on illegal immigration, would deny what he wrote and re-stated in the column (see the below video).
Gordon Russell, author of the column reports, “…Fitzgerald says, people wouldn’t cross the border illegally if they weren’t certain they’d find work here. They usually do, so they keep coming.” The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) reports that illegal aliens costs to the state of Florida in 2009 as $5,462,614,142.
The FAIR website states, “According to the Census Bureau the foreign-born population of Florida was about 3,658,043 persons in 2010. This estimate meant a foreign-born population share of 19.5 percent … Between 2000 and 2010 the Census Bureau estimate indicates an average annual rate of change in the foreign-born population of about 96,314 people, compared to the state’s annual average population change of about 275,018 people. That is a 35 percent share of the state’s population change (not including the children born in the United States to illegal aliens).”
This is of note to Floridians because President Obama chastised Governor Romney for his comments about illegals “self-deporting” during the past Presidential debate as the best way to solve the large illegal alien population.
FAIR notes the following positions of the candidates:
Some of President Obama’s stances included:
- support for a broad amnesty, including the DREAM Act;
- touting his backdoor amnesty initiatives such as deferred action for those meeting the criteria of the DREAM Act, and focusing enforcement only upon illegal aliens who have committed serious crimes;
- opposition to Arizona’s SB 1070; and
- touting his efforts to reduce the time in which immigration officers have to approve visa applications.
Gov. Romney’s stances included:
- opposition to a broad amnesty while supporting a military-only DREAM Act;
- supporting E-Verify and other programs to promote attrition through enforcement;
- opposing driver’s licenses for illegal aliens; and
- supporting the stapling of green cards to the diplomas of foreign graduates of U.S. universities.
FAIR also notes, “Criminal aliens — non-citizens who commit crimes — are a growing threat to public safety and national security, as well as a drain on our scarce criminal justice resources. In 1980, our federal and state prisons housed fewer than 9,000 criminal aliens. Today, about 55,000 criminal aliens account for more than one-fourth of prisoners in Federal Bureau of Prisons facilities, and there are about 297,000 criminal aliens incarcerated in state and local prisons. That number represents about 16.4 percent of the state and local prison population compared to the 12.9 percent of the total population comprised of foreign-born residents.” Florida has the 8th highest illegal alien prison population.
Illegal aliens cost Floridians dearly to incarcerate, medicate and educate. With so many Americans out of work, is it not time to give the jobs to our legal workers? Today, few would agree that Americans would not fill the positions held by illegals.
VIDEO: Buchanan – Fitzgerald debate: