Last updated on: 5/4/2009 | Author:

Tom Ridge Biography

Former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security
Con to the question "Should the Government Allow a Path to Citizenship for Undocumented Immigrants?"

“The bottom line is, as a country, we have to come to grips with the presence of 8 to 12 million illegals, afford them some kind of legal status some way… I’m not saying make them citizens, because they violated the law to get here. So you don’t reward that type of conduct by turning over a citizenship certificate.”

Philip Shenon, “Ridge Favors a Status Short of Citizenship for Illegal Immigrants,”, Dec. 11, 2003

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Senior Adviser for Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha, 2006 – present
  • Board Director, Home Depot, 2005 – 2006
  • U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, 2001 – 2004
  • 45th Governor of Pennsylvania, 1995 – 2001
  • U.S. Representative (R-PA), 1982 – 1994
  • Assistant District Attorney, Erie County, Pennsylvania, 1980 – 1982
  • Lawyer, private practice, 1973 – 1980
  • Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Vietnam War, 1968 – 1970
  • Member, Virginia Tech Incident Review Panel for Virginia Governor Tim Kaine
  • Vietnam War Veteran
  • Awarded, Bronze Star for Valor, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with Palm, and the Combat Infantryman Badge
  • JD, Dickinson School of Law, Pennsylvania State University, 1972
  • Graduate, Harvard College, 1967
  • Cathedral Preparatory School, Pennsylvania
  • St. Andrews Elementary School, Pennsylvania
  • Tom Ridge Field, Erie International Airport named after him
  • Secured funding for the Tom Ridge Environmental Center at Presque Isle, Pennsylvania
  • First enlisted Vietnam combat veteran elected to the U.S. House
Quoted in:
  1. Are Mass Deportations a Good Method to Address Illegal Immigration?