Friday, November 9, 2007
After the elections on Tuesday, it is difficult to predict how immigration will play out as an issue in the elections next year. There are some conflicting signals.
The Washington Post reports that "House Republican leaders, who made immigration a centerpiece of the fall campaign, said Thursday that efforts in the Virginia General Assembly to crack down on illegal immigrants probably are doomed because of losses their party suffered in the election this week."
In the presidential campiagn, immigration, as Senator Clinton learned, can be a volatile issue. Here is what has been reported from Senator Barack Obama on the campaign trail:
"Obama reiterated support for the controversial idea of allowing illegal immigrants to apply for driver's licenses, the issue that created an uproar in the Democratic debate in Philadelphia a week ago. Clinton's halting answer to a related question provided her opponents an opportunity to attack her for refusing to state clearly where she stands on volatile issues. Obama backed a similar measure as an Illinois state senator and said Thursday, "I would not overrule a state that has decided for public safety purposes that this is the best way to do it." Obama faced repeated questions about illegal immigration from his Democratic audiences this week and acknowledged that Republicans will make the issue a central part of their campaign. "My estimation is the Republicans will run on two issues, and two issues only: terrorism and immigration," he said, adding: "There's no doubt there will be attempts made to hit whoever the Democratic nominee is on this issue. And we have to stand our ground and not be defensive.'"
At the same time, there are signals that the economy is the big issue to most Americans. We will wait and see.