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Immigration in the Presidential Debate

By October 16, 2008

Immigration in the Presidential Debate

Finally! It took three tries, but the topic of immigration was finally mentioned in Wednesday's third and final presidential debate. What's that? You say you missed it? Let's look at the transcript:

McCain (in response to Obama): You're running ads right now that say that I oppose federal funding for stem cell research. I don't. You're running ads that misportray completely my position on immigration.

Yes folks, that's all. The word "immigration" was finally brought up in the debates, but it was only mentioned as one word. No discussion. No debate on this important issue. Just one word. And truth be told, McCain's not the only one who can complain about being portrayed inaccurately in immigration ads.

Obama and McCain's views on immigration have been relatively similar. Obama's immigration reform policy favors a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and tougher penalties for employers who hire undocumented workers. McCain co-sponsored the failed 2007 comprehensive immigration reform bill that proposed a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants, although he has since increased his focus on border security as the first step to immigration reform. While the message seems to be the same for both candidates, all similarities end in their Spanish-language ads.

In Spanish-language radio and TV ads, each candidate has presented himself to Hispanics in the "Latin quartet" of states (Colorado, Florida, Nevada and New Mexico) as the true champion of comprehensive immigration reform. Neither tries to get to the heart of the issues in the Hispanic community with straightforward ads discussing policies and plans; instead, both camps have resorted to mud-slinging.

One of McCain's ads claims that Obama supported efforts to kill last year's failed immigration reform bill, when in fact, Obama supported the legislation and it was McCain's own party that put the kibosh on the bill. On Obama's side, one of his ads claims that McCain caved to the anti-immigrant folks in the Republican Party and turned his back on the Latino community. Another Obama ad puts McCain together with Rush Limbaugh (Limbaugh is not a fan of McCain's) and quotes Limbaugh out of context with the result of making McCain look like a racist.

Enough already. Although immigration is one of the top six election issues for Latino voters and impacts all Americans, it has taken a back seat to other issues. We are not going to hear the immigration discussion we need to hear while the economy, health care and Iraq are on the minds of the nation's voters. Let's hope that whomever is chosen to lead this country will live up to his promise to make immigration reform a top priority.

Photo: Getty Images


October 16, 2008 at 12:19 pm
(1) Larry Brown says:

Massive unfettered illegal immigration is destroying our nation. The issue deserved more than one word out of three entire debates between the Presidential candidates

October 17, 2008 at 11:25 am
(2) madonna says:

well i ain gun vote for none of yall im not an immigrant i waz born here in america but i am a latina and i stand for my rit3z mijo and for ma ppl orale sobres pu3z adioz

October 20, 2008 at 5:22 pm
(3) Mary says:

The invitation to come-one/come-all doesn’t benefit anyone.
- This population surge has been detrimental to our country.
Not knowing, who people are or how many people are coming, is just not a smart way to operate. Not knowing disables proper planning for the future of our cities, counties, and state’s.
This inability to predict community needs will undoubtedly lead to the depletion of resources ultimately creating an unhealthy community.
- The CDC now has incorrect documentation of the immunized U.S. population as well as an inaccurate account of diseases throughout the U.S. Detrimental? Oh, yes it does matter to all of us that we keep our country healthy. Not only updated immunizations but maintaining a healthy sense of security. Security Anyone? Check out who’s entering this country so we can maintain a healthy state of physical, mental, emotional, social, and personal well-being.
- FDA can not operate at 100% when businesses employ unauthorized workers for less pay. Being accountable to your employer produces products consumers can rely on.

Immigration Laws were already in place. However, the guidelines for entering this country were purposely overlooked.

When a country enforces there immigration laws they will have immediate respect from all people that want to become a part of this country and lets not forget the people that are already here. Respect will occur naturally when guidelines are enforced for the protection of all of us.

October 20, 2008 at 9:21 pm
(4) Mary says:

Opportunities are within reach when people follow the path to becoming an American Citizen legally.

Doors open and county services are available to people that need to get situated after immigrating to the U.S.

This past few years has created mayhem and is not beneficial for anyone.

October 21, 2008 at 11:13 pm
(5) Tracy says:

My questions is to all the people that want to vote against making illegals legal is; Do you still want to drive thru mcdonalds and receive your nice hot cheeseburger, or go to your hotel room on vacation with the expectancy of it being clean? Don’t you like to eat tacos and all the mexican food. Even the chinese restaraunts you eat at, the food is cooked by immigrants. What about all the fresh fruit and vegetables you buy at the store, who do you think goes out and picks all of these things in the hot sun and wet rain, machines? Don’t think so it is hardworking folks trying to raise their families just like you and I. All of those yummy foods are shipped to the stores we shop at the restaraunts we eat at. They just want to have an abundent life just as every American wants. We are the ones that took some of their country away from them and made it into California and Texas. Help vote yes for immigration reform, Our economy does depend on it.

October 23, 2008 at 1:41 pm
(6) Sam says:

Tracy, well said. And Mary, wake up!!!! Its not only the immigrants, illegal or legal manipulation the system. Check out the hick states, they are all on welfare and enjoying life……..

October 26, 2008 at 11:00 pm
(7) Victoria says:

“Immigration Laws were already in place.”

When were they in place? Where?

I don’t know for sure I understand what is wrong in people coming to or living in America and following the laws of the country. What I don’t understand for certain is why the system seems to entertain the debates to create new user accounts for people who came in when the Feds were out partying, and yet the same Feds won’t remind us the password to get in! We already have user accounts, bring it on!

You guys came many years ago by sea and probably without passports! Bring it on…We came here legally. As the legal minority, we confront problems just trying to remain here legally! We don’t want to be on welfare…Please deliver the services we purchase with the exhorbitant application fees!

Almost every application form to immigration is accompanied with a 3digit dollar sign. Please think about our welfare too!

Shall we have all have a crumble of the American Dream so widely advertised across the oceans?

Khotso! Pula! Nala!

October 29, 2008 at 11:13 am
(8) jesus says:

mexicans rule

October 29, 2008 at 11:14 am
(9) jesus says:

Mexicans have rights not like white people

October 29, 2008 at 11:18 am
(10) Laura says:

mexicans will rule the world one day!!!:)

November 4, 2008 at 8:38 pm
(11) Nelly says:

mexicans.you need us period.

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