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Rick Santorum's Immigration History Lesson

1920s immigration laws “did what was best for the American worker,” potential White House candidate Rick Santorum says.
Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) speaks during the final day of the 2014 Republican Leadership Conference on May 31, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Leaders of the Republican Party spoke at the 2014 Republican Leadership Conference which hosted 1,500 delegates from across the country.

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) speaks during the final day of the 2014 Republican Leadership Conference on May 31, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Leaders of the Republican Party spoke at the 2014 Republican Leadership Conference which hosted 1,500 delegates from across the country.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Former Senator Rick Santorum, a potential Republican presidential candidate, said in an interview airing Sunday that 1920s immigration laws “did what was best for the American worker.”

“I'm not saying shut [unskilled immigration] down, but I will tell you, the last time we had this kind of surge in immigration was the Great Wave between 1880 and 1920, and after that Great Wave, there were two bills that were passed, 1921 and 1924, and they both passed almost unanimously in the House and Senate,” Santorum said on CNN's “State of the Union.” “Why? Because they put politics aside. They did what was best for the American worker.”