Hillary Clinton -- and the other Democrats running for president -- couldn't possibly have assumed that they would forever skate around the issue of illegal immigration. That notion came to an end in the most recent debate, when the New York senator badly slipped over a question about her state's controversial plan to issue driver's licenses to illegal aliens. Did she think no one would ask?
Democrats had better start dealing with this. Polls show a large majority of Americans, including Democrats, opposed to illegal immigration. They also find that most Americans favor some sort of amnesty for many illegals. Clinton apparently tried to finesse the two, while ignoring what's behind the numbers.
What many Democrats (and Republicans) don't "get" is that the support for amnesty is highly conditional. It rests on trust that any official pardon will be the last one.
People have been fooled too many times by past amnesties. I see no need for an amnesty. We can just deport all the illegals that are here.
I don't think the leading Democrats are capable of moving right on immigration to an appreciable extent. Hillary's recent obvious support for amnesty ("bring everybody out of the shadows") shows she's not going to come down hard on illegals.
I think itís important to bring everybody out of the shadows. To do the background checks. To deport those who have outstanding warrants or have committed crimes in the United States, and then to say to those who wish to stay here, you have to pay back taxes, you have to pay a fine, you have to learn English, and you have to wait in line. And I hate to see any state being pushed to try to take this into their own hands, because the federal government has failed.
So I know exactly what Governor Spitzerís trying to do and it makes a lot of sense, because heís trying to get people out of the shadows. Heís trying to say, ďO.K., come forward and we will give you this license.Ē
But without a federal policy in effect, people will come forward and they could get picked up by I.C.E. tomorrow. I mean, this canít work state-by-state. It has to be looked at comprehensively. I agreed with President Bush and his efforts to try to approach this. He just didnít have the political capital left by the time he actually got serious about it.
And itís unfortunate that too many people are using this to demagogue the issue, instead of trying to solve it: you know, people in politics, people in the press, and thereís a kind of unholy alliance.
Let me translate "demagogue this issue": That means "demand that illegal aliens be deported and oppose amnesty". Hillary isn't saying that we should build a wall along the entire US-Mexico border. She's not calling for tough enforcement against employers who hire illegals. She's not calling for deportation of the sort that Ike Eisenhower carried out in the 1950s (I like Ike).
What the Democrats have going for them: 7 years of George W. Bush and counting. Rising oil prices. A real estate meltdown. A potential recession starting next year. An unpopular war in Iraq.
What the Democrats have going against them: They are even less willing than the Republicans to obey rising popular demands an end to illegal immigration and reduce legal immigration. They want more tax money to spend.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2007 November 06 10:29 PM Immigration Politics|