Thursday, January 10, 2008

Is the Immigration Debate Over?

The San Francisco Chronicle presented two OpEd columns today that give two very different positions on the issue of Immigration.

In the first, Victor Davis Hanson of the Hoover Institute, Stanford University, tells us that Supporters of open borders have lost on that issue.
Republican candidates must risk angering their base by ruling out mass deportation. Democrats should support closing the border tightly and quickly - and not cave in to open-borders pressure groups.

Making these tough choices now is what most voters want. The candidates of both parties in the next few months will either adjust accordingly or lose elections.
In the other column, Roberto Lovato of New American Media, believes that the McCain win puts the Latino Vote back in play.
During the 2004 presidential election, George W. Bush's Spanish-language appeals and promises of immigration reform won him somewhere between 37 to 44 percent of the Latino vote, a major increase from what he got in 2000.
So, the Latino vote is not something that Democrats can count on if McCain runs. However, McCain is probably the only Republican Candidate about whom that statement could be made.
But when Democrats are evasive - as in Clinton's driver's license flip-flop or when Obama vacillated after being asked by Univision anchors about his vote for the border fence - I see the moral and political opening exploited by Bush in 2004, and McCain before 2008. My father and most Latinos reject the wall as a muro de la muerte (wall of death). That the immigration debate merits neither Clinton's attention nor Obama's abundant rhetorical powers explains Latinos' frustration (documented in the recent Pew Hispanic poll) and leaves many of us outside the wave of Obama-mania.
Our Green candidates need to make it clear that we understand that the solution to these problems lies not in fences and deportation but rather in allowing Mexico and other national economies to grow, to not saddle them with so-called free trade pacts whose effects are so obviously one sided.

The immigration debate is not over. Greens have a unique message. It is not about protecting American jobs or even our fighting the worlds terrorists by building a muro de la muerte. It is about allowing all people to fulfill their own destinies, to build their own economic future without having American consumerism crammed down their throats.

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