That Time Joe Biden Condemned Amnesty, Said Immigrants Should Learn English

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Democratic 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden argued more than a decade ago against amnesty for illegal immigrants and maintained that anyone who migrates to the United States should learn English.

The former vice president’s comments came 13 years ago, when he was in the Senate arguing for the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act, otherwise known as the “McCain-Kennedy Bill.” An immigration reform bill introduced the previous year by then-Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy and Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain, the proposed legislation never reached a vote.


“The Democratic position also recognizes you’ve got 11 million illegal aliens here,” Biden told MSNBC host Chris Matthews. “They have to have a way to earn their way into the deal. This isn’t amnesty. They’re required to take 11 years work. They’ve gotta pay a fine. They’ve got to learn to speak English. They’ve got to pass testing … ”

“If we want the problems of Canada right now, keep encouraging people to keep their foreign language,” Matthews added, agreeing with Biden. “English is gonna unite this country, potentially.”

“I can’t think of a country that has two languages as their accepted languages that is doing all that well, including Switzerland … Canada,” said Biden.

“It divides us,” Matthews responded. “You can’t talk to each other.”

Another 2006 video shows Biden arguing for a 40-story fence to stop the drugs coming from “corrupt Mexico.”

“Folks, I voted for a fence, I voted, and unlike most Democrats — and some of you won’t like it — I voted for 700 miles of fence,” Biden told a rotary club in South Carolina. (RELATED: Obama Defends Assimilation, Says Immigrants Should ‘Learn The Language’)

“But, let me tell you, we can build a fence 40 stories high — unless you change the dynamic in Mexico and — and you will not like this, and — punish American employers who knowingly violate the law when, in fact, they hire illegals,” he continued. “Unless you do those two things, all the rest is window dressing.”

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