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Condoleezza Rice: 'I Don't Know When Immigrants Became The Enemy'

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 04/11/2012 9:24 am Updated: 04/11/2012 9:24 am

Condoleezza Rice Immigrants

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke on a variety of topics in front of a crowd at Duke University Tuesday night, offering a particular criticism of the nation's stance on immigration.

"That immigrant culture that has renewed us ... has been at the core of our strength," she said, according to the The Raleigh News & Observer. "I don't know when immigrants became the enemy."

Rice has long lamented the Bush administration's failure to address comprehensive immigration reform during two terms in office, a disappointment that she reportedly reiterated on Tuesday.

In 2009, she called the lack of action one of her "biggest regrets."

"America has always been able to attract the most ambitious people who are determined to have a better life," Rice said during an appearance at Stanford University, where she currently teaches. "If we ever lose that and start to believe that somehow that it is instead a threat to us to have those people come here, we are going to lose one of the strongest elements of not just our national wealth, but of our national soul."

She has also spoken out on the need to get undocumented immigrants out of the "shadows," and last year issued a warning about Alabama's controversial immigration enforcement law.

“I think we need to be really careful about what kind of laws we pass and that, in the effort to get a handle on this problem, we don’t end up making the problem worse,” she told Alabama's Press-Register, after claiming that inaction at the federal level was catalyzing such measures. "The fact is that, generally speaking, this patchwork approach is not serving us well and we need to find a better solution. State laws are just not going to do it."

Rice has also recently been included on GOP presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney's vice presidential short list, according to some reports, though she has denied that she'd accept the position.

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