I'm a Pundit Too

Friday, December 7, 2007

Presidential Politics and Illegal Immigration

It has been 6 months since the furor over the Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill hit the headlines. During the ensuing months, Congress has tried to pass various forms of immigration reform, with each version going down to a devastating defeat. Now we are less than a month away from the Iowa caucuses where the voter of Iowa will begin the process of deciding who will represent the major political parties in next November’s Presidential election. I believe that it is fitting to look at the immigration record of the candidates from both parties.

On the Democratic side of the political spectrum we have Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator Barack Obama, former Senator John Edwards, Governor Bill Richardson, Representative Dennis Kucinich, Senator Joe Biden, Senator Chris Dodd, and former Senator Mike Gravel. These candidates have all received horrible assessments from the non-partisan group Americans for Better Immigration. Clinton, Edwards, and Biden all received a D rating. Obama, Dodd, and Kucinich received a lower rating of D-. Governor Richardson fared the worst of the entire field of candidates with an abysmal score of F-. I have included the links to each candidates score card and the explanations of how the grades are derived.

On the Republican side of the contest we have former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Governor Mitt Romney, former Governor Mike Huckabee, Representative Duncan Hunter, Senator John McCain, Representative Tom Tancredo, former Senator Fred Thompson, Representative Ron Paul, and former Ambassador Alan Keyes. This list of candidates as a whole received much better grades from Americans for Better Immigration. Tancredo and Hunter both received outstanding grades with an A+. Romney was rated as good and Paul was given a B. Thompson scored a mediocre C. Giuliani and Huckabee both were rated as bad with McCain earning a D.

Since the campaign season has started to heat up with the polls seemingly changing by the hour who is leading in a particular state, most of the candidates seem to either back away from a previously held position or take both sides of the issue in the same speech. Clinton contradicted herself in the debate last month by favoring and opposing the idea of giving illegal immigrants legal driver’s licenses. Romney has made news by firing a landscaping company who worked on his property for employing illegal immigrants. Giuliani and Romney have traded attacks over the sanctuary status of Rudy’s New York City and Mitt’s state of Massachusetts. Huckabee has been busy answering questions over his support for giving illegal immigrant children in state tuition in Arkansas. McCain has backed off from his rabid support of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

Representatives Hunter and Tancredo have been steadfast in their quest to stem the flow of illegal immigrants across our borders. Senator Obama was equally as steadfast in his support for the driver’s license issue in the debates last month. Governor Richardson has the worst record on illegal immigration of all of the candidates. He has a nearly perfect record in the wrong direction. Senator Edwards has been vigilant in his support of illegal immigration. Representative Paul has been very consistent on the issue with very few exceptions.
As the primaries approach, I believe we should look at each individual candidate and weigh their positions on the issues and decide if their beliefs and values match ours. Illegal immigration is not the only issue in play this election season, but it is the one issue on which that the majority of Americans agree. Where does your candidate of choice stand on this issue? What about taxes? What about the war on terror? Do a little research and see where they stand. This not a beauty contest or a popularity contest, we are deciding who will lead the greatest country in the world.


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