Republican presidential candidate Bobby Jindal explained his stance on immigration, saying, “we need to move away from hyphenated Americans. We’re not African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Indian-Americas, rich or poor Americans. We’re all Americans.”
Jindal, appearing on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday insisted that immigrants should “learn English, come here legally, adopt our values, roll up our sleeves, and get to work.”
Martha Raddatz: I want to turn to immigration, I know your parents were legal immigrants, but growing up, a child of Indian parents, you had to have experienced being an immigrant, unlike some of the other candidates, most of the other candidates. Is there any part of you, when you hear things being said, derogatory things being said about immigrants, that troubles you as the child of immigrants?
Bobby Jindal: Martha, I would say a couple of things. Look, as a child of immigrants my parents have never taken this country for granted. Every single day they’re grateful to live in the greatest country in the history of the world. Now, I think this election is about the idea of, the idea of America is slipping away in front of us. When it comes to immigration policy, what I have experienced and seen is that a strong immigration policy makes our stronger. A dumb one makes us weaker. We have a dumb one today. Yes, we need to secure our border. Stop talking about it. I think we need to insist that folks who come here, come here legally, learn English come here legally, adopt our values, roll up our sleeves, and get to work. As the son of immigrants, what I’ve seen is my parents, they’ve insisted we’re not hyphenated Americans, we’re Americans.
Raddatz: I’m sorry, but what do you mean by “adopt our values?” What values don’t immigrants have that you believe Americans have?
Jindal: Well look, what I worry about is that you look to Europe, the contrast is, Martha, you’ve got second, third generation immigrants that don’t consider themselves as parts of those societies, those cultures. We in our country shouldn’t be giving freedoms to people who want to undermine freedoms for other people. I think we need to move away from hyphenated Americans. We’re not African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Indian-Americas, rich or poor Americans. We’re all Americans. And the reason this is so important, immigration without integration, is not immigration it’s invasion. My parents are proud of their Indian heritage, but they came here to be Americans and they love this country, they want to raise their children as Americans. We don’t make people come here. If they come here, they should want to be Americans. Millions of people across this world want to come here. A smart immigration policy allows people to come here illegally to make our country stronger. That’s just common sense