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June 28, 2008

McCain And Obama Address The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials

McCain addressed immigration policy in his speech today and gave his normal comprehensive reform and enforcement talk. More telling, I think, was his answer the question, one of the two or three questions he received on the issue, "...will comprehensive immigration reform, and not just enforcement, be one of your top policy priorities in you’re first 100 days in office"?

It will be my top priority yesterday, today, and tomorrow. And my friends, thank you for the question, and let me just review for you again, we tried. I reached across the aisle to Senator Ted Kennedy, and by the way I know that he’s in your prayers, and we worked in bipartisan fashion. And we were defeated. And by the way, it wasn’t very popular, let’s have some straight talk, with some in my party, and so I did that and worked together so we could carry out a federal responsibility. We have to secure our borders, that’s the message. But we also must proceed with a temporary worker program that is verifiable and truly temporary, we must also understand that there are 12 million people who are here and they are here illegally and they are God’s children, they are God’s children and they will be treated in a humane fashion based on the principle obviously that someone who comes here legally cannot have priority over someone who comes here illegally.

(note-I saw the speech live and the last line was clearly just an innocent flub, though you may of course draw your own conclusions on the nature of the slip)

I hate this formulation. I don’t think we should be trading enforcement for amnesty in some grand compromise. Let’s get enforcement first and see how it works for a few years and see where we are then. Perhaps attrition will work and make the problem more manageable. If we can't get an enforcement only plan, let's run on that in the 2010 mid-terms. I don't say that meaning I just want a political issue, I want good policy and if that means waiting an election cycle to do it, so be it.

Either way, I think the idea that people who came to this country illegally should be rewarded for that, at the expense of people who are playing by the rules and waiting to come here is unacceptable. Ultimately, that's what 'comprehensive reform' boils down to.

And Maverick…cut the ‘God’s children’ crap. No one claims that those here illegally aren’t ‘God’s children’. Of course they are and should be treated with basic decency. But being a child of God doesn’t exempt them from the consequences of their actions anymore than it does a citizen or legal immigrant.

There are complaints when there over immigration raids or laws that lead to people leaving the US. Yes families are often separated and it’s sad when that happens but the same thing happens when citizens are arrested. Families are torn apart and lives are disrupted. Why is it a greater tragedy when it involves people who made the choice to come here illegally?

You can say being here illegally isn’t really that big of a deal but there are a number of crimes that citizens are prosecuted for all the time that would fit into that category as well. Yet their lives are turned upside down and their families impacted. Should we stop enforcing those laws as well?

McCain doesn’t seem to see enforcement as a good in and of itself, rather it’s just something to trade off to get what he wants…comprehensive reform, aka amnesty.

Yeah Obama is as bad if not worse on the issue. So?

Sorry to be Mr. Immigration guy the last few days but it's the big political story of the day.

BTW- Obama addressed the same group today and took a shot at McCain on the issue.

I know that he talked about that when he just spoke before you, but what he didn't mention is that when he was running for his party's nomination, he walked away from that commitment. He said that he wouldn't even support his own legislation if it came up for a vote. If we are going to solve the challenges we face, we can't vacillate, we can't shift depending on our politics. You need a president who will pursue genuine solutions day in and day out in a consistent way, and that is my commitment to you.

So Obama says McCain flip flopped on immigration. To that I can only say, "if only!"

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posted by DrewM. at 07:03 PM

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