In their own words

Hillary Clinton: “We have been a nation of immigrants. I believe we have to bring our country together. We have to deal once and for all with the immigration issue.”

Chris Dodd: “It’s a source of collective embarrassment that Americans expect others to speak English. This is an issue of empowerment-it’s empowering to have this forum here today addressing the Hispanic community.”

Bill Richardson: “I am proud to be the first major Latino candidate to run for president.”

John Edwards: “General Petraues’ report will be nothing more than a White House sales pitch.”

Hillary Clinton: “There is no military solution in Iraq. I believe we should start bringing our troops home. Our men and women in uniform have performed magnificently. Despite the heroism of our troops, the Iraqi government has not made progress.”

Mike Gravel: “Terrorism is not a war. Our war on terror makes no sense. Terrorism must be treated as a criminal act.. We must ask Interpol for help.”

Chris Dodd: “Our troops in Iraq are more vulnerable than ever.we’ve turned Iraq into an incubator for terrorists. We should put those [military] efforts in Afghanistan to capture Bin Laden.”

Barack Obama: “I have been a consistent champion of immigrant reform. The motivation is trying to create a better life for their children and grandchildren. We need a pathway to citizenship for the 12 million workers already here.”

Dennis Kucinich: “We need to build relationships with other nations, not walls. There are no illegal human beings. We need to cancel the NAFTA and the WTO trade agreements based on workers’ rights.. Remember the Statue of Liberty.”

Bill Richardson: “If you’re going to build a 12 foot wall, you know what’s going to happen? A lot of 13 foot ladders.”

Barack Obama: “Since you are paying my salary, you should have health care that is at least as good as mine.”

John Edwards: “If we give drug companies a seat at the table, they’ll eat all the food.”

Regarding the war in Iraq:

“It hasn’t made us more safe.” ~Obama

“[What we need] is bold, personal diplomacy and not military soldiers.” ~Obama

When critiquing the war in Iraq, Clinton said she believed “that military personnel have performed magnificently and heroically” but that the US could “not continue to referee [Iraq’s] civil war.”

“Terror is not a war. It is a criminal act.” ~Gravel

Regarding immigration:

“[We need] border security…[but also] a pathway to citizenship for the 12 million undocumented workers in the United States.” ~Obama

“As illegal immigration becomes more difficult [there is more] pressure to enter illegally.” ~Obama

“[Our] separate struggles are one.” ~Obama

Clinton stated that “family reunification” should be a goal of immigration policy since the current system is “destructive and unfair.”

“[Legislation] criminalizes all who help illegal immigrants. [and has thus] criminalized the Good Samaritan, criminalized Jesus Christ.” ~Clinton

When asked about the wall to be built between the US/Mexico border, he stated he thought it was “misguided policy” especially since “Congress only agreed to fund half of the wall.” He said, “What’s going to happen when you build a 12-foot wall, there will be lots of 13-foot ladders.”

“There are no illegal human beings.” ~Kucinich

Regarding healthcare:

“[Taxpayers] healthcare should be at least as good as mine.” ~ Obama

Regarding Cuba:

Richardson expressed that he would be willing to “lift the embargo after the release of political prisoners.”

Gravel said he believes the United States has “created [Castro] as an enemy” and that Americans should look at the “globe as one entity.” His solution is to “treat [Castro as] a friend.”

Regarding Latin population:

“Dynamic Latino community…[in] a nation of immigrants, a country that welcomes people.” ~Clinton

Clinton said she considered the debate both an “opportunity and a privilege” to address the Latin community.

Richardson said he was “proud to be the first major Latino to run.”


“[We need to renew] our belief in the future, in our country. what our country is about, our faith in America.” ~Obama

Clinton stated she would like to “continue to make this country what it should be” and looked forward to “earn[ing] the support” of her voters.

Richardson denounced Univision’s English only policy saying that “Spanish should be permitted if one of their own speak Spanish” and that “Univision [was] promoting English only.”

Gravel wants Americans to be able to “vote for policy directly” so they are better able to “reach out” to the government.

Edwards noted that the first thing people are asked when applying for a job or seeking government assistance is “what is your immigration status? This is a perfect example of why the US government does not work for people, for Latinos.”

“The Democratic party is at its best when it speaks for the poor, disenfranchised, [and] disabled.” ~Edwards

“A [huge] powerbase for dangerous leaders [in the Caribbean and South America] is the success [achieved] in demonizing the US.” ~Edwards

“[Latinos have added to] the rich depth of American culture, making America better, stronger.” ~Edwards

Edwards stated he wanted to “make America there for every person.”

“Si se puede.” ~Kucinich

Kucinich stated he would like to “cancel NAFTA and the WTO,” thus allowing Americans to take back “control of [their] economic destiny.”

Kucinich also stated he would like to establish a universal kindergarten by taking a “15% cut in the bloated Pentagon budget.”

“Hablo espanol perfectamente bien.” ~Dodd

“Politics of fear are the most dangerous.” ~Dodd

Dodd laments that “1.6 billion dollars [is allocated] for all of Latin America [when] 500 billion [is directed] to Iraq.”

Compiled by Kelly Herson.