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Excerpt of Remarks to Reporters in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

June 02, 2007

MAYOR GIULIANI: "Today's arrests remind us that we're at war. The reality is over the last couple of weeks we've had two now major arrests of people who were organizing to attack in America and to attack Americans. The first one was at Fort Dix, the second was at Kennedy airport. It should remind us that the terrorists are at war with us both overseas and here in the United States. Sometimes — I know this is a different kind of war so it's sometimes hard to focus on. But the reality is that today's arrests remind me of the fact that we have to stay on offense against terrorists. I believe that the FBI and police and United States Attorney who uncovered this case, much like the United States Attorney in New Jersey and the FBI and police there, these are people who are on offense against terrorism. They are looking for this. In the past, before September 11th, they weren't on offense, because we hadn't had the attack of September 11th, so hindsight does help here. But the reality is that there are people in America who don't realize now how serious this threat is, and, you know, we have to remain on offense. It may also make it clear to us that this terrorist war against us, or our being on offense against them, is not just a political issue for one side or the other, it's a reality that we live with — we're going to live with for quite some time. So that we have to remain on offense, we need things like the Patriot Act, we need things like electronic surveillance, it has to be legal, but we need it. We need things like interrogation techniques to get information from people, legal again, but it has to be aggressive. These are the things that keep us safe in a world where there are more than a few people organized around Islamic terrorists who want to harm us and to kill us."

REPORTER: "Do you think we're doing enough, do you think our immigration policy is tough enough, one of the suspects is not a United States citizen and he's an employee at JFK airport."

GIULIANI: "Well, you know, I would say that, obviously, the authorities involved in this investigation, it looks like it'd been going on for quite some time, have my admiration. I did that work for a lot of my life. I did that kind of work for a lot more of my life than anything else, even being Mayor of New York. I was involved as an Assistant United States Attorney, a United States Attorney, and that's very tough, difficult work, and they did an absolutely great job, U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn in this case, the U.S. Attorney in New Jersey a couple of weeks ago, the FBI, police. The immigration policy in the United States needs to be changed, and I'm very disappointed that the legislation they're discussing doesn't accomplish it. All the debate, all the discussion, all the fighting that goes on, here's what has to be accomplished, it's real simple. And this is from someone where security has been a lot bigger part of my life than politics. We need to know everyone who's in the United States from a foreign country. The United States needs to have that information. Other countries have that information. We're entitled to that information. It is possible, technologically, to acquire it. Credit card companies track more information than that, by a lot. And the way to do that is to have a tamper proof ID card in which people are identified, biometrically identified, fingerprinted, photographed. Every single person that's in this country from a foreign country, the objective is to have them in a database. That's the reason why we need a fence, that's the reason why we need a technological fence, in order to determine people coming across our border that we're not finding out about. That's why we need a BorderStat program that I talked about a couple of days ago in which we evaluate our success. And then, the people who are identified will all pay taxes, will all pay their fair share, and the people who don't have the ID card and aren't identified, those are the people we throw out of the country. And if we can narrow this large group that we're dealing with to a smaller group, we're going to be far more effective in finding the terrorist, the drug dealer. When the pool of people that are in this illegal category is so large it's an invitation to terrorists and drug dealers and criminals to hide. If you can narrow that pool to a much more definable group of people and distinguishing between those that are identified and have the ID card, and are comfortable with the idea that they're here and they're here for good purposes, and then the people who don't have it, those are the people you focus on and you throw them out of the country."

REPORTER: "Should citizens have to carry that kind of ID card?"

GIULIANI: "No, this is for people that come from a foreign country. I mean, there are a lot of suggestions about social security cards and making them tamper proof and for everyone else, but this is a program that should exist for people that come here from a foreign country so that we get — see the problem with the legislation that exists now, this is, you know they say any program written by a committee, or any speech or book written by a committee is like inconsistent, this is an inconsistent program. There are parts of it that are good, there are parts of it that are bad, there are parts of it you can't figure out how things could actually be worse. It's because it has no unifying purpose. The unifying purpose of it should be that we are able to identify all the people that are in this country and they have a tamper proof ID card. If you can accomplish that, then a lot of the other issues, who gets to work, what they have to do if they work, how we deal with people that are here and want to become citizens so they don't get ahead of people that are legal and still have some opportunity, all those things could work themselves out."

Rudy Giuliani, Excerpt of Remarks to Reporters in Fort Lauderdale, Florida Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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