Pat Choate

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Pat Choate is an economist on the board of directors of Federation for American Immigration Reform. He has worked broadly on concerns about the effect of globalization on the United States, not purely with respect to immigration, such as by serving as vice-chair of the 1990 Defense Science Board panel that reviewed the security implications of foreign ownership of key U.S. defense technologies

He was the vice-presidential running mate for Ross Perot in 1996. In 1999, he was described as a "kingmaker" for Pat Buchanan's attempt to build a left-right-center coalition. [1] Buchanan's key advisers were his sister, Bay Buchanan, a conservative activist, Pat Choate and Lenora Fulani, a figure of the left. He said "The unlikely threesome came together in the belief that party members' agreement on economic nationalism can outweigh their disagreements over social issues like abortion and gay rights." In a 2004 position book for Buchanan, Choate observed that the dependency of the U.S. on foreign sources was:[2]

  • Medicines and pharmaceuticals 72%
  • Metalworking machinery 51%
  • Engines and power equipment 56%
  • Computer equipment 70%
  • Communications equipment 67%
  • Semiconductors and electronics 64%

His 2008 book, Dangerous business: the risks of globalization for America, suggests that a failure for a relatively bipartisan Congress, along with President George W. Bush, may mean that no effective immigration reform will take place in the near term. [3] He sees the lack of border controls both threatening to build a permanent underclass and admit terrorists. Again, foreign ownership and dependence on foreign suppliers of critical raw and manufactured materials concern him.

While it concerns him that Rahm Emanuel, then the leader of the House Democratic Conference, said, in 2007, a Democratic president would not take up immigration reform until 2013, he does point to the mid-1990s Commission on Immigration Reform chaired by retired Rep. Barbara Jordan and made up of Democrats like herself, Republicans, and an independent. She summarized, to the House Judiciary Committee, in February 1995, "Immigration is too important to who we are as a nation to become a wedge issue in Presidential politics. I, for one, wish we would do away with all the hyphenation and be Americans together."

On the 29 January 2009 Lou Dobbs program, he and Dobbs agreed that the stimulus bill would give checks to illegal immigrants without social security numbers, and Choate said this would worsen immigration. MediaMatters showed a section of the legislation that explicitly bans such subsidies. [4]


  1. "The kingmaker speaks", Salon/Slate, 11 November 1999
  2. Pat Buchanan (1 September 2004), Where The Right Went Wrong, at 163-4
  3. Pat Choate (2008), Dangerous business: the risks of globalization for America, Random House, p. 181
  4. "Will Dobbs retract his stimulus bill falsehood?", MediaMatters, 30 January 2009