Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Ruben Navarette Jr.'s latest on CNN suggests that Latina/os should flock to John McCain because of his support of "comprehensive" immigration reform:
"For the foreign-born, many of whom care deeply about the immigration issue, maybe the person who deserves their support in November isn't the candidate who voted to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border (Barack Obama) or the one who equivocated on giving illegal immigrants driver's licenses only to cave in and oppose it (Hillary Clinton). Maybe it's the guy who stuck his neck out and co-sponsored with Ted Kennedy, no less, a comprehensive immigration reform bill that offered a path to legal status and made him a pariah in his own party.
in terms of more general immigration policy, Obama Obama believes we must fix the dysfunctional immigration bureaucracy and increase the number of legal immigrants to keep families together and meet the demand for jobs that employers cannot fill.
And maybe it's the person who, despite learning that protecting the border is the first priority, still stuck by his guns about the need for a comprehensive approach: Viva McCain."
This all is very curious. What is odd is what Navarette fails to mention. Although he once supported comprehensive immigration reform, John McCain now says that he heard "the people" and will support "enforcement only" until the border is "secure." Hillary Clinton, perhaps following in the footsteps of Bill who signed draconian immigration "reform" legislation into law in 1996, has endorsed the need to crack down with little, if any (and certainly not "due") process, on "criminal aliens," a phrase so broad that it includes some rather petty (as well as serious) crimes.
Navarette also fails to note that, despite much criticism, Barack Obama -- in stark contast to Hillary Clinton -- has stuck by his guns on the driver's license issue. His loyalty has won him the endorsement of California State Senator Gil Cedillo, who for many years has championed allowing undocumented immigrants to be eligible for a driver's license. The driver's license issue is big in the Golden State, with a Democratic legislature passing bills several years in a row only to have them vetoed by the Governor. Obama's willingness to take a stand on driver's licenses could help him in the Democratic primary.
Obama's immigration platform includes, among other things, fixing the dysfunctional immigration bureaucracy and increasing the number of legal immigrants to keep families together and meet the demand for jobs that employers cannot fill. Such current positions, not past failed proposals, should attract the Latino vote.