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Goldwater on Immigration Reform

Goldwater on Immigration Reform

Goldwater on Immigration Reform: Exploring a Conservative Perspective


The topic of immigration reform in the United States has been a contentious one for many years. While some politicians on the left have advocated for more lenient policies, conservative politicians tend to emphasize the importance of national security and American sovereignty. One notable conservative who has weighed in on this issue is Senator Barry Goldwater. This article aims to explore Goldwater’s views on immigration reform.

Goldwater’s Background on Immigration:

Senator Goldwater was a strong advocate for reducing illegal immigration and enforcing current laws. While he was not in favor of mass deportation, he believed that the federal government had the right and responsibility to enforce immigration laws and protect American jobs.

Goldwater’s Views on Border Security:

Senator Goldwater was a strong advocate for securing the US-Mexico border. He believed that a secure border was essential to national security and proposed using military resources to help secure the border.

Goldwater’s Views on Legal Immigration:

While Senator Goldwater did not advocate for mass deportation of undocumented immigrants, he believed that legal immigration should be limited. He believed that the United States should prioritize allowing highly skilled and educated individuals to enter the country rather than allowing anyone to enter.

Goldwater’s Views on the Welfare State:

One of Senator Goldwater’s key concerns about immigration was the impact it would have on the welfare state. He believed that illegal immigrants and their families would be a financial burden on American taxpayers and that the government should be focused on reducing the overall cost of social welfare programs.

Goldwater’s Views on English Language:

Senator Goldwater believed that the English language was important to American identity. He supported making English the official language of the United States and believed that immigrants should learn English as a condition of citizenship.


While Senator Goldwater’s views on immigration may be seen as controversial by some, they reflect a traditional conservative perspective on the issue. He was a strong advocate for securing the border, limiting legal immigration, and reducing social welfare spending. Today, with immigration still a hotly debated issue in American politics, it is worthwhile to consider the perspective that Senator Goldwater brought to this important policy area.

Immigration problems within the United States immigration system have remained the same for several years. Congress has been unable to come up with a plan that satisfies the majority, whether headed by Democrats or
Republicans. Immigration problems are an issue that every political candidate is forced to address. In 1978, Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater defied a plan that would be similar to one that Congress rejected backed by former President George Bush and fellow Arizona Senator John McCain.

The plan in question was a reform of the United States immigration policy that would rely on amnesty, or
forgiveness, by granting undocumented illegal immigrants in America a quick path to citizenship. It also imposed stricter sanctions on employers who knowingly hired illegal immigrants, punishing them with fines and
possible jail time. The hope would be that such actions would cause the number of jobs open to illegal immigrants to dry up and would slow the number of illegal immigrants who came to the United States each year.

Goldwater had two major criticisms of the plan. His first criticism was that by granting amnesty to the millions of illegal immigrants in the United States would effectively be rewarding someone for illegal behavior. Goldwater also feared that the amnesty policy would actually increase immigration problems by causing tension amongst those immigrants who had undertaken the difficult process of became a naturalized United States citizen. His second criticism of the plan focused on the employer sanctions. He claimed that sanctions could raise civil
rights violation issues.

Goldwater proposed an alternate solution. He believed that an expansion of the¬†temporary worker program would allow Mexican immigrants to enter the United¬†States on a temporary legal basis and address America’s need for seasonal¬†workers. The extensions would be good for a time period of roughly six months,¬†although not necessarily consecutive. Goldwater also believed that the United¬†States immigration system should have worked on its immigration problems of¬†monitoring the border by updating the technology and inspection process.