Panetta Keynotes AIISF Annual Event
SAN FRANCISCO, CA-Leon E. Panetta, former White House chief of staff under President Clinton and now director of the Panetta Institute for Public Policy in California State University, Monterey Bay, keynoted the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation (AIISF) annual dinner Sept. 29.
Angel Island was one of the ports of entry for hundreds of thousands of immigrants who came to this country searching for the riches and opportunity of California. But. Panetta said, "Immigrants who came through Angel Island confronted the paradox of our democracy. Confronted overcrowded facilities. Confronted humiliating examinations and interrogations. Spent days and months and sometimes years of waiting to determine whether they’d be approved or deported."
Panetta concluded, "We also have an obligation to break the paradox to promise America to help those yearning to breathe free. We are a better nation because of those who followed the torch of liberty. That light and promise must never be broken."