Friday, February 1, 2008

Obama. Clinton Spar on Immigration in California Debate

160pxobamabarack 160pxhillary_rodham_clinton In Los Angeles last night, Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama had their last debate before Super Tuesday.  With the last two Democratic candidates being an African American and a woman, it was historic debate, to say the least.  In the end, the debate did not include much in the way of fireworks as both candidates behaved in a calm, diplomatic, leader-like fashion.

There was some discuission of immigration, which is an especially important issue to many in California.  The responses were not too surprising but offer some food for thought.

The candidates were posed a question on immigration from a voter in Burnsville, Minnesota: "There's been no acknowledgement by any of the presidential candidates of the negative economic impact of immigration on the African-American community. How do you propose to address the high unemployment rates and the declining wages in the African-American community that are related to the flood of immigrant labor?"

Of course, this is a potentially explosive issue that could have led in many directions, especially by those who would want to sensationalize Black/brown tensions.    Here is Senator Obama's response: 

SEN. OBAMA: Well, let me first of all say that I have worked on the streets of Chicago as an organizer, with people who've been laid off from steel plants -- black, white, Hispanic, Asian -- and all of them are feeling economically insecure right now, and they have been for many years. Before the latest round of immigrants showed up, you had huge unemployment rates among African-American youth. And so I think to suggest somehow that the problem that we're seeing, in inner city unemployment for example, is attributable to immigrants, I think, is a case of scapegoating that I do not believe in, I do not subscribe to. (emphasis added).

This response generated applause from the audience.

When asked about driver's license eligibility for undocumented immigrants -- another issue ripe to cause conflict, Senator Obama, who has remained consistent in his position favoring licensing all drivers on our roads, responded:

"There are those who were opposed to this issue and there have been those who have flipped on the issue and have run away from the issue. This wasn't directed particularly at Senator Clinton, but the fact of the matter is, I have stood up consistently on this issue. On the driver's license issue, I don't actually want -- I don't believe that we're going to have to deal with this if we have comprehensive immigration reform because, as I said before, people don't come here to drive, they come here to work. (Applause.) And if we have signed them up -- if they have -- if we have registered them, if they have paid a fine, if they are learning English, if they are going to the back of the line, if we fix our legal immigration system, then I believe we will not have this problem of undocumented workers in this country because people will be able to actually go on pathway to citizenship. That, I think, is the right approach for African-Americans, I think it's the right approach for Latinos, I think it's the right approach for white workers here in the United States as well. (Applause.) (emphasis added).

To be fair, Senator Clinton sounded pretty even-handed in her call for comprehensive immigration reform and made an admission that none of the remaining Republican candidates would be willing to make:

SEN. CLINTON: If you want to round up and deport people, how many tens of thousands of federal law enforcement officials would that take? And how much authority would they have to be given to knock on every door of every business and every home? I don't think Americans would stand for that, so we have to get realistic and practical about this.  (emphasis added).

This sounds much more generorous than Senator Clinton's reported comments earlier in the week about the deportation of "criminal aliens."  It also stands in contrast to President Bill Clinton's very "tough on immigrant measures" in the 1990s.

KJ

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/immigration/2008/02/obama-clinton-s.html

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Comments

his wife won the debate if u saw her on CSPAN. he has a Coretta.

Posted by: rawdawgbuffalo, memphis | Feb 1, 2008 5:31:55 AM

Well she's not going to say that she wants to remove people with no legal process on a debate stage in California. She'd get crushed in that state.

Posted by: Jay | Feb 1, 2008 8:07:05 AM

I am an African-American woman who resides in Atlanta, GA where we have a huge immigrant population. I take my civic duty very seriously and took the time to compare the democratic candidates views before casting my vote for Obama in the Feb. 5th primary. My mind was completely made up when I watched Hillary's New Hampshire speech on Immigration. All she did was reiterate what Barak had said months ago in a speech in Iowa.
See it here for yourself and pay close attention to the dates!

Barack on 9/5/07
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/politics/2008/01/25/sot.obama.immigration.cnn

Clinton on 1/7/08
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/politics/2008/01/25/sot.clinton.immigration.cnn

Posted by: Shanah | Feb 9, 2008 5:55:05 AM

Let's Get Real Here: Obama Doesn't Care About Us Blacks Losing Our Jobs To Illegals and, Unlike Most People Of Color, He's Also Really Hard On the Eyes

These liberal immigration policies are an insult to Americans of every color. And the liberal bullcr#p our sell-out politicians spew out is designed to put line their pockets with cash and nothing else.

Furthermore, I don't get these women who claim to be having orgasms by fantasizing about Obama. I think they're just trying to prove how liberal they are. But what low-life idiotic slobs they truly are.

I mean, come on! Have you taken a good look at B.O.? The guy's got purple lips! That skinny frame, that big mole on his nose and those purple lips - blaaaahhhhh!!!! Only a mother could love that.

Posted by: tome | Feb 9, 2008 12:57:25 PM

What an exemplary example, tome. Choose a leader based on look rather than what they will do when they're elected. Maybe we should go back to the dark ages of slavery, with the majority putting the minority into slavery. Or maybe we start rounding up peoples based on color, moles, and various other irrelevant issues.

Anyway, ignoring that barbaric and childish reasoning... I believe Obama is a more attractive choice especially considering his promise to deal with the Immigration issue as a priority. America have other problems after these immigration issues, which as Obama mention in one of his speech has to be dealt with ASAP.

With these immigration issues out of the way, then America could concentrate on the Iraq issues, devaluing of dollars, foreign relationship, education, social welfare, and various other important issues. If immigration issues gets pushed back, and not prioritized as it should be, it'll hover in the shadow for several more years and distract our effort on the other important issues.

Posted by: Sylvia | Mar 14, 2008 2:52:26 AM

What an exemplary example, tome. Choose a leader based on look rather than what they will do for the country. Maybe we should go back to the dark age of slavery, with the majority putting the minority into slavery. Or maybe we start rounding up peoples based on color, moles, and various other irrelevant issues.

Anyway, ignoring that barbaric reasoning... I believe Obama is a more attractive choice in this matter, especially considering his promise to deal with the Immigration issue as the first priority. After immigration issues, which has to be dealt with ASAP, America also have Iraq issues, devaluing of dollars, foreign relationship, education, social welfare, and various other important issues to concentrate on.

If immigration issues gets pushed back over and over again, rather than prioritized as it should be, it'll hover in the shadow for several more years, or maybe never get solved and distract our effort on the other important issues.

Posted by: Sylvia | Mar 14, 2008 3:12:14 AM

What an exemplary example, tome. Choose a leader based on look rather than what they will do for the country. Maybe we should go back to the dark age of slavery, with the majority putting the minority into slavery. Or maybe we start rounding up peoples based on color, moles, and various other irrelevant issues.

Anyway, ignoring that barbaric reasoning... I believe Obama is a more attractive choice in this matter, especially considering his promise to deal with the Immigration issue as the first priority. After immigration issues, which has to be dealt with ASAP, America also have Iraq issues, devaluing of dollars, foreign relationship, education, social welfare, and various other important issues to concentrate on.

If immigration issues gets pushed back over and over again, rather than prioritized as it should be, it'll hover in the shadow for several more years, or maybe never get solved and distract our effort on the other important issues.

Posted by: Sylvia | Mar 14, 2008 3:40:51 AM

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