Congressman Richard Neal discussed his views on immigration at an economic summit in Pittsfield, Massachusetts Wednesday.
Answering an audience question, the Democrat from the 1st House district said “nothing has roiled the Western democracies right now like the issues of immigration,” and said it was to blame for Brexit. He also attributed the rise of Eastern European nationalism to the issue.
Saying America needs immigrants, Neal said dialogue around the issue has become unnecessarily politicized by use of words like “invasion.” Neal added he does not support open borders.
“I also want to say this – and don’t think of this as a partisan statement – when Barack Obama used to say ‘get in line, and learn English,’ that’s Obama’s quote, that’s not mine – I think he was right about that. And I think register, get in line, and learn English – that’s where we want to be.”
Obama’s remarks to that effect were in reference to migrants who had entered the country illegally.