Quotes and Quips


“We should have a better understanding and better relationship [with Mexico] than we’ve ever had…. Rather than talking about putting up a fence … why don’t we work out some recognition of our mutual problems?”
— Ronald Reagan, 1980 GOP presidential debate

Immigration is the sincerest form of flattery.
— Jack Paar, author and comedian, hosted The Tonight Show 1957-1962.
The most fundamental legislative goal of the white nationalist movement is to limit nonwhite immigration. It is important to remember that such limits were in place during the lifetimes of many current white nationalists; it was the default status until the 1960s. In the 1790s, the first naturalization laws of the United States Congress limited citizenship to a “free white person.”
R. Derek Black, son of former Alabama Klan leader. Derek was following in his father’s footsteps until he began to question the white nationalist movement’s ideology.


Confession and penance are akin to sacraments in immigration law, and the process of asking the government to pardon your client’s digressions is a disconcerting combination of formulaic and theatrical.
–Attorney Jawziya Zaman describing the process of representing clients in immigration court who are seeking relief from deportation. The same could be said about visa applicants seeking “waivers” of ineligibility for previous crimes and immigration violations.
Here I am with my immigration form
It’s big enough to keep me warm….
There he was with his immigration face
Giving me a paper chase….
Let me in, immigration man
–Graham Nash, lyrics from “Immigration Man,” a song about his experience with a U.S. Customs official. (YouTube)


As a nation, we began by declaring that “all men are created equal.” We now practically read it “all men are created equal, except negroes.” When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read “all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics.” When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty – to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.
― Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln Letters


Everywhere immigrants have enriched and strengthened the fabric of American life.
 ― John F. Kennedy


[The Immigration and Nationality Act] is not known for being warm or cuddly; words like “intricate” and “Byzantine” come more easily to mind…. Nor is it known for being easy to understand; we have often remarked on its fiendish complexity.
 ― Akram v. Holder (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 2013)


[The Immigration and Nationality Act] places the burden of proof upon the applicant to establish eligibility to receive a visa. However, the applicant is entitled to have full consideration given to any evidence presented to overcome a presumption or finding of ineligibility. It is the policy of the U.S. Government to give the applicant every reasonable opportunity to establish eligibility to receive a visa. This policy is the basis for the review of refusals at consular offices and by the Department.
 ― U.S. State Department, 9 FAM 206.2-1.


A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in. And how many want out.
― Tony Blair


You, who are so-called illegal aliens, must know that no human being is illegal. That is a contradiction in terms. Human beings can be beautiful or more beautiful, they can be fat or skinny, they can be right or wrong, but illegal? How can a human being be illegal?
― Elie Wiesel

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