Gerald Ford's Role in '65 Immigration Disaster… And After

"Cato" writing from Washington on Mar 9, 1965 in National Review: 

"The real sleeper in the coming months in Congress will be the Immigration Bill. This issue runs athwart many of the usual voting alliances and blocks, and Republicans who see in it a chance to rough up the Administration are wondering whether Minority Leader Gerald Ford--for whom they ditched Charley Halleck--is the man to lead the fight. Most Republicans would like to see Ford take a hard line, and not just angle for a few concessions in committee. They feel that he is playing footsie with Emanuel Celler, (D., N.Y.) Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee."

Ford was always very surrender-minded. I don't see how he ever won a football game.

After all, he only became President because he was the Republican most acceptable to the Congressional Democrats who overthrew Nixon, after he'd been Minority Leader for years of Democratic ascendancy.

Ford, who was elected by the hard-working, honest burghers of Michigan's Fifth District (mostly Dutch and German), may have thought them typical of the prospective immigrant population.

He's also responsible for the huge surge of Vietnamese immigration.

When the Communists poured into South Vietnam (not immigration but invasion), which Ford could have prevented fairly cheaply with the Air Force, the Annamese fled on anything that would float.

The Vietnamese loved their country. Their ancestors were buried there, and they didn't want to leave, but when Ford and the House Democrats abandoned them, they had little choice about leaving.

"… for the first time in our history, people have risked their lives to leave Vietnam. Large numbers of Vietnamese never tried to flee their country to escape French Domination or the American intervention."

- Truong Nhu Tang. "The Myth of a Liberation" NY Review of books. Oct 21, 1982. (The New York Review of Their Own Books, doesn't have its archive act together, but you can order the back issue.)

There are now about 600,000 Vietnamese living in the U. S.

Fine people, I'm sure. But they would have rather stayed home.

During the 2000 Presidential campaign, when Republicans didn't particularly want advice from a man who had never won an election for anything larger than a Congressional Seat, Ford came out with a NY Times op-ed championing affirmative action.

In it he pointed out that

"Times of change are times of challenge. It is estimated that by 2030, 40 percent of all Americans will belong to various racial minorities."

OK, Mr. Congressman/President - how did that happen?

April 05, 2001