In a NOW on the News web-exclusive interview, a former secretary of labor, Robert Reich, calls the current Senate immigration bill "the last opportunity we have probably for the next ten or 15 years" to deal with immigration reform. Reich, who served under President Bill Clinton, told NOW's Senior Correspondent, Maria Hinojosa, that the divisive issue may be "too hot for politics."
"That might be the way that we deal with this, by doing nothing, by living with our hypocrisy."
"I hate the idea of having a whole, vast group of second-class residents of America in terms of undocumented workers. I don't like the consequences, I don't like the exploitation, I don't the hypocrisy of America doing that."
"If you have a lot of people coming into the United States who are low-waged and low-skilled, someone has got to pay for their needs...over the long term the people more than pay for themselves."
"My great grandparents came to New York without anything. They were illiterate. And we've got to understand that that's the story of America."
About Robert Reich
Robert Reich is Professor of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as a Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton.
Reich's most recent book is "Supercapitalism." His others include "The Work of Nations," which has been translated into 22 languages, and the best-sellers "The Next American Frontier," "The Future of Success," and "Locked in the Cabinet." His articles have appeared in The New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, the Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.
Reich is a co-founding editor of The American Prospect magazine. In 2003, Reich was awarded the prestigious Vaclav Havel Foundation Prize for his pioneering work in economic and social thought.
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