Richardson criticizes Clinton, Obama, and Biden for voting for border wall

LOS ANGELES, CA – Oct 24– New Mexico Governor and Democratic Presidential candidate Bill Richardson unveiled his Latin America policy in a major address entitled "A New Partnership with Latin America" on the campus of UCLA in Los Angeles, California.

At the event, hosted by the progressive think tank and advocacy organization NDN, Richardson called for a comprehensive reform of current immigration policy. "We need comprehensive immigration reform in this country– one that includes a path to legalization," Richardson said. "Part of that is increased border enforcement with smarter technology and more guards. That is a workable solution. You know what will not work? A wall. I think that Senators Clinton, Obama, and Biden were wrong to vote to build a wall between the United States and its neighbors. "They talk about change, but they voted for the most blatant example of an old-style Washington solution– expensive, dumb, and entirely the product of political calculation."

The centerpiece of Richardson’s policy is a return to engagement with Latin America, including troublesome regimes like Cuba. "As President, I will allow unimpeded family visits and remittances by Cuban-Americans to their relatives in Cuba," Richardson said. "I also am ready to reassess the trade embargo on Cuba, in exchange for the release of all political prisoners and positive steps toward democratic freedoms. We need a realistic approach toward Cuba. Our current policy has been static and reactive."

Richardson stressed the importance of Latin America and called for a Latin American country to receive a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. "Despite Latin America’s economic and national security importance to the United States, President Bush has neglected to engage the region," Richardson said.

"The next President must take a far more realistic look at what is needed to restore U.S. standing in our own hemisphere. We need a President who understands the region and can talk directly to all of the players. I can speak in Spanish when needed. Yo hablo el idioma de la diplomacia.

"I also believe that we should push for a Latin American country to have a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council. Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile are obvious potential choices."

Richardson also talked about the fires ripping through California. Yesterday, Governor Richardson sent two strike teams of New Mexico fire fighters to California to help fight the blazes. In addition, Richardson’s campaign donated $10,000 to the Red Cross to assist in relief efforts.

"I deeply believe that the coming days will prove that even the greatest natural destruction is no match for the hopeful will of the American people," Richardson said. "We will put the pieces back together. We will rebuild people’s homes. Together, we will do it."

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