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learnedly read, too; in part, of intellectual rigor
Posted Monday, September 20, 2010
WASHINGTON - Former Secretary of State Colin Powell says illegal immigrants do
essential work in the U.S. and he has firsthand knowledge of that — because
they fix his house.
|Powell says illegal
immigrants do his home repairs
|By Calvin Woodward,
|Associated Press Writer
Powell, a moderate Republican, urged his party Sunday to support immigration
generally because it is "what's keeping this country's lifeblood moving
forward." In an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press," he said a path to legal
status should be offered to illegal immigrants because they "are doing things we
need done in this country."
He added: "They're all over my house, doing things whenever I call for repairs,
and I'm sure you've seen them at your house. We've got to find a way to bring
these people out of the darkness and give them some kind of status." Powell did
not say whether he's hired illegal immigrants directly or they showed up with
Powell was President George W. Bush's first-term secretary of state and the
nation's top military officer in the presidency of Bush's father and in the
early months of the Clinton administration. Despite his Republican standing —
he was once considered a formidable prospect for the GOP presidential or vice
presidential nominations but stayed out of contention — he endorsed Democrat
Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election.
In lamenting the party's rightward drift Sunday, he said Republicans must not
become anti-immigration and spoke in support of legislation that would give
certain children of illegal immigrants a way to become citizens if they pursue a
college education or military service.
Immigration, he said, offers the U.S. a chance to maintain a youthful population
in contrast with the aging of Europe and Japan. Powell also said "fringe"
elements on the right are taking a low road when they label Obama a foreign-born
Muslim and peddle other false theories about non-American influences on the
president's character. Obama was born in the U.S. and is Christian.
"Let's attack him on policy, not nonsense," he said. And he said the tea party
may not become an enduring force unless it moves beyond slogans and promotes an
agenda that people "can see, touch and actually believe in." It's not enough, he
said, to call for goals that most Americans support, such as controlled federal
spending and adherence to the Constitution.
The former secretary of state said he still sees Obama as a transformational
figure, if one who has lost some of his ability to connect with people.
Powell said he's not giving up on the GOP, even in the face of a rightward
drift, and says it might actually help Obama if Republicans win the House in
November and gain responsibility for driving policy, not just opposing
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