Saturday, November 03, 2007

Opinion: Should issues related to immigration play a big role in the 2008 presidential election?

The Issue the Democrats Dread
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By E. J. Dionne Jr.Friday, November 2, 2007; Page A21

More significant than Hillary Clinton's supposed gaffe at the end of Tuesday's Democratic presidential debate is the subject around which she tiptoed so delicately: immigration.

Democrats fear the issue because it could leave them with a set of no-win political choices.

Examined on its face, Clinton's statement on New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's proposal to let illegal immigrants obtain driver's licenses was careful and reasonable.

While acknowledging that current law on immigration is inadequate, she defended Spitzer's idea by noting that if illegal immigrants are going to drive anyway, licensing them would protect all drivers.

Yet Clinton eventually cut into the debate to amend her statement: "I just want to add, I did not say that it should be done." Her opponents jumped all over her. John Edwards accused her of saying "two different things in the course of about two minutes."

In the short run, Clinton's exquisite calibration of her positions was the issue. But her debate dance reflects a deeper worry among Democrats that Republicans are ready to use impatience with illegal immigration to win back voters dissatisfied with the broader status quo.

The issue is especially problematic because efforts to appease voters upset about immigration -- including a share of the African American community -- threaten to undercut the Democrats' large and growing advantage among Latino voters. For Republicans, the issue is both a way of changing the political subject from Iraq, the economy and the failures of the Bush presidency and a means of sowing discord in the Democratic coalition.
--This opinion piece continues at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/01/AR2007110101987.html

42 comments:

CoreyA said...

I personally see no reason for immigration to be a major issue. On my principals alone, I feel the idea of owning land to be rather shallow. America was settled by illegal immigrants from Europe taking over. Did we complain about illegal immigrants then? Claiming you have a larger right to be some where simply by birth right is also ignorant. Unfortunatly, I am not everyone else, or even any one else for that matter, and my opinion will do very little in this matter.

Obviously letting everyone into our country will not work either because of the threat of being attacked.

So I guess I'll have to base this by the law, which is what politicians should be doing. Granting privellages to people who cannot legally be here anyway is redundent. If you are a boarder patrol officer and you really want to get illegal immigrants out of the country, sit at the DMV and wait till someone comes in for their license, then deport them. "Congratulations, next time you come back, you can drive."(Don't you need a birth certificate and social security number to get a drivers license anyway? Obviously these things would not be required unless the were needed for something important. Overlooking them could be bad.) If you want to grant privellages to people who cannot legally be here, why not help them become legal? (Obviously, being attacked would make legallizing everyone a bad idea).

It is going to be very hard for any candidate to find a way to please everyone in this matter. Democrats have the hispanic vote right now, but hispanics are a minority and winning minorities while pusing away the majority is not going to win you an election. I personally feel that democrats will lose a couple(thousands and thousands... who said "a couple" had to be 2?) votes in the immigration spectrum and little else will happen. It will not play a pivital role, in my opinion of course.

Have a nice day.

RyanO said...

I think that immigration will play a semi-large role in the '08 elections. Although not as focused on as Iraq and the economy, it could be a factor that sets candidates apart from one another. Many of the candidates in the same party take the similar stances to Iraq, and I think that immigration is a large enough issue for many people that they will take it into serious consideration.

Erica T said...

I think immigration, to some people, is just as important of an issue as anything else. Why shouldn't it play a role in this election? Some people feel very strongly about this subject and would most logically lean toward selecting a candidate that will agree with and do their best to address their feelings. It doesn't affect me personally, however, and the only way I can see myself changing my mind on a candidate based on the issue of immigration is if their opinion radically differed with mine.

KatieKso said...

I feel that issues realted to immigration should play as big a role as any other issue. It is an immportant issues that affects many peoples' lives. A plan to deal with immigration needs to be made. If a candidate comes up with a satisfactory plan they would recieve a lot of support.

JamieW said...

Immigration will not be the main focus of voters in the 2008 presidential election. The War in Iraq will get the most attention at the polls. However, I think if two canidates have a similar outlook on Iraq, immigration could possibly be the deciding vote. I believe immigration is something the canidates should be aware of, but shouldn't be TOO concerned if they don't have a resolution as of now.

Vlad said...

Illegal immigration is one of the big issues today. So, yes, it will be an important issue in the presidential election. I wanted to italicize illegal because I get frustrated whenever I see the words immigration and illegal immigration used interchangeably. I'm pretty sure those two are separate from one another and what's happening to illegal immigrants right now isn't and hasn't happened to legal immigrants such as myself. This is a very controversial topic that could make or break a candidate. A candidate could appear heartless if he/she wants to deport all illegal immigrants back to their native country or seem far too lenient if he/she gives them a free pass to stay while completely disregarding what legal immigrants had to do to come to the US.

MorganJ said...

Immigration is a touchy subject for me, so I can see the democrats’ difficulties in addressing the issue. Although I feel that something should be done about immigration, (I am a little bitter that there are illegal immigrants getting full-ride scholarships while I'm working myself into the ground, applying for all the scholarships I can) I also feel that right now there are more important issues that need to be addressed: The war in Iraq, limited health care, and problematic budget seem more important (meaning they effect more of the nation as a whole) than immigration.

Immigration is obviously a sticky issue; however, we need to take some stance on it. I believe the best way to go about it would be to have some sort of national law that addresses the issue. That way individual states have the same processes when it comes to immigration. We can be having some states allowing (and in some ways rewarding) illegal immigrants while others don’t. If the nation handles immigration the same way, immigrants will be less likely to be concentrated in certain areas such as New York.

Generally, I believe that our nation needs to start working together. As of lately, we have been too divided on issues. We need to stop thinking about what we as individuals want and start thinking about our country and everyone in it (legal and illegal). I feel we will get more accomplished this way. COMPROMISE IS KEY!

Angelina said...

I don't think that immigration will be that big of an issue in the 2008 presidential election. The more important issues should be Iraq, and our large deficit.

cmorgan said...

Immigration is becoming a larger and more discussed issue. I don't believe it will become as important as the war in Iraq but it is affecting many and will be a continued issue until something is done about it. How the presidential candidates respond to immigration I think could be a large factor in the upcoming election. The republicans could use the democrats uneasy approach towards immigration to sway some voters to their side. So to answer the question, yes i do believe issues related to immigration should play a big role in the 2008 presidential election.

CassieH said...

I watched a true life on MTV about border Patrol. It showed the lives of three men. One being a Mexican Cop in Texas dealing with all the drug smuggling and daily happenings of epople trying to get over, antoher I white citizen living right on the border trying to help his country by sitting at the line with a gun in hand . . . Let me tell you, you are gonna get em' all that way . . .! , and the last of a Mexican 18 year old living legally in the US but not a citizen. His story was the most touching because he couldn't get a drivers lisence, a job, or even attend college. He was a good student with a 4.0 in high school but didn't continue in college because he didn't have a social security nor enough money.

Anyway. I thought that was good. But my opinion is that Immigration will not play a huge role to areas like us but will play a vital role in areas that are affected by it daily.

jzurko said...

Issues related to immigration should play a major role in the 2008 presidential election, however, it should not overpower other important issues like the deficit, Iraq, the economy, health care etc. Issues concerning immigration and illegal immigration have always been present in our country, but lately the media, congress, and the president have put the spotlight on illegal immigration. Immigration is not the problem, however, the ways in which candidates handle the issue of illegal immigration could be a major factor in the election. If someone is moderate on the issue and not too drastic one way or the other I doubt it will have a large effect on their campaign, nonetheless, if they choose to say something like completely shutting off all immigration, legal and illegal.. or build a triple layer fence or just open up the country to any and all immigrants regardless, then it likely to play a big role in their election. The end.

Erica C said...

Obviously, there are already key issues that, generally, democrats and republicans have very different views on. A candidate may be pro-life or pro-choice, anti-gay rights or pro-gay rights, for the war on terror or against the war on terror. These are the issues that voters deem very important. Immigration could be one more issue that widens the gap between republicans and democrats. Immigration is a chance for the republican presidential candidate to gain support from moderates who may have strong conservative opinions on that issue. It is my belief that immigration could definitely play a large role in the 2008 presidential election.

mente said...
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mente said...

Issues related to immigration, more specifically illegal immigration, should play a big role in the '08 election. But as others have said, I think that there are other issues that candidates will focus on more.

shannond said...

I think illegal immigration should play a big role in the election. It is a big issue. I'm not saying it should be the most debated issue- that would upset me. But I do think illegal immigration needs attention. When I vote in 2008, I'm thinking I'm gonna want to know what the candidates think about this big ol' wall going up. The candidates cannot wiggle thier way out of this topic until 2008. They might as well just come out and express thier views now instead of ignoring the question. In the long run, it will be more beneficial for citizens to know the candidates' views on illegal immigration so that we do not get stuck with candidates we do not agree with.

Alex the Great said...

i think that immigration should play a role in the 08 election. not only is it a security risk to America, it costs us money due to the fact that illegal immigrants do not pay taxes. im not sure exactly what all these plans for allowing illegals citizenship mean but i think that if someone wants to live in the U.S.A. they should pay taxes and support our country otherwise they are wasting our country away, bleeding it dry of its food and resources.

Vlad said...

But who is picking and growing the food?

newkirk said...

I think that immigration will play a role in the 2008 presidential election, although not a very big one. I think that this election will be based mainly on the ideas on the war in Iraq, and what is going to happen with it. And that immigration will still be a part because it is always a problem but hardly looked at as a big role in the election.

arletap said...

Illegal immigration may play an important role in the upcoming election, but only based on the candidates' suggestions as to what should be done about it. Like Joanna said, the extremity of their opinions and solutions will of course cause uproars; fences, and the democrats cry themselves to sleep; amnesty, and the republicans whip out their guns and take matters into their own hands. Oh, if compromise existed in rainbow-and-unicorn-free worlds.

ericag said...

I'm not sure you can say at the moment what will and what should take a large role in the elections. We have so much time until the elections. In politics every day seems to be a new issue. Until something sparks the immagration debate again, I'm not sure people will be too concerned about it. As the elections get closer, we will see what the heart of debates are. I think our country has so many issues going on at the moment it is too hard to focus on just one.

amandak said...

I think that the topic of illegal immigration should play a large role in the 2008 presidential campaign. It's clearly a problem in our country, and many people feel the same as Morgan and are upset that people are coming into our country illegally and getting all the benefits without paying the price that actual citizens do. Also, I think if I was a legal immigrant who had waited and done all the work needed to gain my citizenship I would be upset that some people just ignore the rules but still get to stay. At the same time, it's unreasonable to expect us to deport all of our illegal immigrants. It's a touchy subject, and I for one haven't heard one good solution to the problem.

Alex said...

ILLEGAL immigration will and should play a large part in the 2008 presidential elections. Illegal immigration is one of the largest issues facing our country and finding a solution that works and can be accepted in congress. Hillary Clinton and all the other candidates will be forced to come up with a solution quickly, one can only avoid a solution to one of our nations greatest problems for so long before people start to notice.
I believe that all of you who said that the other issues should play a bigger roll in the upcoming election are simply giving the candidates an excuse to not have an opinion on an issue that affects our country so much. The fact that there is no simple solution to a problem that so many have such strong opinions on can probably only hurt candidate ratings, because they are bound to piss off one side or the other. If the Democrat candidates do try and focus on Iraq and keep avoiding positions on illegal immigration republican candidates such as John McCain who have fought so hard to get their solutions passed will likely be giddy at the thought at having some fuel for their fire against the other side.
Candidates should be held to make a solution, not just a walk-around the questions. Illegal Immigration is not going away and our candidates should be held to try and find a solution.

Adam L said...

Immigration should not play a large part of the 2008 election. I feel that it is an issue, but not something that should be the source of main talks. I believe that immigration will be a source of conflict, but I would never choose a candidate based on their opinions or solutions to immigration.

aly mac said...

I think that issues related to illegal immigration should play a significant role in the 2008 elections. I believe that protecting our homeland borders is the most important part of our war on terror. I think our focus needs to be first on stopping illegal immigrants from entering our country. Next, we should develop a fair and effective plan for dealing with illegal immigrants that are currently in our country today. Dealing with illegal immigrants that are in the U.S. is a much more complex problem then developing a plan to protect our borders. Either way, I believe the candidates running for election in 2008 need to make this a top priority in their campaign platforms.

Johnny B said...

I wouldn't say it should be a big role, but it should definitely still be addressed some time or another. I believe that there are other issues that should be more focused on. Iraq, health care, our debt, all are things that should be focused on.

I believe that there will eventually be a time before the elections in 2008 where illegal immigration will be asked and talked about. I don't think it'll be a huge deal, yet people will have more of a chance to see who really supports what.

Jake_H said...

i think that issues of immigration should play a big role. i dont mind if people want to move to the US but they better do it legally. If your not legaly a citizen you dont have rights in this country and definitely should not be able to get a drivers license. I think that illegal citizen who are already in the country should be able tho stay and earn their citizanship. It should not be handed out. Tehre needs to be a major crackdown on our boarders.

DanielleT said...

Since illegal immigration is already an issue throughout the U.S., it would only make sense that it would be an important factor in the election. There are people who have very strong opinions about what should be done with the illegal immigrants. To not have the issue addressed would be absurd. However, this should not be the only topic that should be able to make or break a candidate.

KellyH said...

I believe issues related to immigration should play a big role in the 2008 presidential election, but I think it will only be as big as the republican candidates make it. Democratic candidates have been slightly side-stepping the issue becuase they have the largest risk involved with the stance they pick on the issue. If republicans choose to bring up the topic more to try and bring in more votes from people who will disagree with the democratic candidates' stances, then it will become a much larger issue between all the candidates. However, if the republicans choose not to continue bringing up the issue, I don't believe it will play much of a role at all.

Vlad said...

I've always wanted to know this, and maybe other people have as well, but, why is Lou Dobbs's program always feature something about immigration?

Christina S said...

Illegal immigration is going to be a big part of the 2008 presidential election, at least I think so. It's an issue that has an effect on almost everyone in some way or another, and it's important to a lot of citizens. It's also an issue that many people feel strongly about and are going to be looking at the candidates that have a similar idea as they do. However, it should not be the main focus of the election, there are bigger issues that should be addressed.

Lisa Marie said...

Every day I hear both of my very conservative parents give their opinion on immigration. It bothers them everyday. Without bringing up work that is going outside of the US, immigration affects our family a great deal. We run and own our own business, and we don't like other companies taking short cuts. I don't neccessarily think immigration issues should relate to the elections, but it will be a big great deal to many of the American families.

JamieW said...

Why does it feel like its 9:00 at night when it's only 5:22? The whole concept of Daylight Savings really screws me up. Anyways, immigration is going to show up somewhere. A canidate could make it or break it for themselves if they decide to bring up the subject. Anything could happen. It could turn out being a bigger role in the election than anyone expects it to be.

BrookeS said...

Do I believe immigration will play a large role in the 2008 election? No. There are other issues (Iraq) our country is more focused on right now. As much as the article conveyed this issue as a "significant subject," I don't necessarily believe that the nation's focus is about illegal immigrants within the country. Border patrol, in the eyes of many, is not as important as ensuring the number of illegal aliens entering the U.S decreases. Immigration will not be able to sweep the nation's opinion for the upcoming elections.
Should immigration play a large role in the election? Personally, yes. The way I see it, if we begin to focus on issues on our own soil, better foundations for issues outside of the country can be built. Allowing an act to pass allowing illegal immigrants to recieve licenses is taking a step back in seeing any type of progress, (plus, the way Cory said, 'don't you need a birth certificate and social security number to get a license anyway?') If there weren't so many other gruelling decisions on whom voters give their ballots to, immigration could play as an alibi for regaining votes toward the republican side. How many people in this nation can honestly say they want illegal aliens in their country, gaining many of the same benefits so many have worked hard for?

Just as a reminder, this issue has been dealt with before. The May 2006 speech made by the President released many conflicting views: some in support of the President's 5-point plan to reduce the number of illegal immigrants entering the country; some, angered because of their own status in this country. The plan basically drafted an outline for five steps in reducing illegal aliens. First, securing the borders; second, create a temorary worker program; third, holding employers to account for hired workers; fourth, realizing illegals should not have a direct path to citizenship; fifth, embracing our melting pot culture. (See the full speech here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/05/20060515-8.html )

In reality, there is, and will never be an instant solution to illegal immigrants. Certainly, the fate of the war within the next year will play the role in determining if this issue gains relevancy.

ericag said...

Well every Sunday Night at 7.45 my cell buzzes, and it reminds me to go and post. And every Sunday I hope Mr. Bretzmann has put up a new topic, because i never know what to post about the second time i have to post on a topic. So here i go.... Although i do not think we can pick a topics about what will be major issues in the next year, i do think we need to solve our immagration problems. If this means making it a major issue in the election, then i guess it needs to be a major issue.

newkirk said...

I think that immigration will play a role in the 2008 election, but not a big role. I think that the war in Iraq and the views of the candidates on the war will make or break the election.Immigration will be thrown up there but will not play a big role.

amandak said...

Hmm what can I say that I didn't say last week?
As I said before, illegal immigration should be a big issue, and it will be if a candidate comes up with a popular solution. As it is now, however, it may not play as big a role as it should because nobody really has a solution.

mente said...

Well, I've already said what I will about this topic, so I'm going to talk about an article in the November 5th issue of Newsweek.

It started off pretty fantastically and made me laugh, literally, out loud. Lisa Miller writes in the article entitled "On 'Perfecting' the Jews", "Imagine, if you will, a world in which the right-wing pundit Ann Coulter were not a grating opportunist who said horrible things on air for her own personal gain. Imagine -- and it's a stretch -- that she occasionally said something interesting or at least worth considering."

So, naturally, I had to keep reading the article.

As I read on, I realized that the article was about one of the crazy things the psychotic Ann Coulter has said. On Donny Deutsch's cable show Coulter said that Christians "just want Jews to be perfected."

The article then explains some background about how Coulter could have been talking about "completed Jews" or Jews that have been converted to the Christian idea that Jesus is the Messiah.

And blah blah blah.

The whole war of religions has been going on since the onset of organized religion. Every one thinks that their beliefs are superior to all others and that their beliefs need to be the universal beliefs.

I thinks it's all ridiculous.

People need to have a general understanding of the main religions because then they will see that all major religions of the world branch off the same key ideas.

The real problem is that the most religious people in the world are the ones who are too narrow-minded to see anyone else's point of view.

Organized religion is probably the worst thing that could happen to our society full of people with severe superiority complexes.

End of rant.

Jake_H said...

im not sure if immigration will play a big enough role in the 08 election. the issue of Iraq will play the biggest roll in the election.

Erica C said...

Alright. Round Two.

Immigration won't be a big issue because NEITHER party has a "solution" or an "answer". I don't know of a plan that has been publicized that could solve any "problems".

Johnny B said...

Woah. 50 minutes left until Monday and I would've missed my points. Almost forgot.

I cannot remember where, but I remember reading that one of the biggest issues of the election will actually be our economy. I believe that unless something big related to immigration happens sooner rather than later, it won't play a big role.

I haven't gotten to watch a lot of the debates so far (it's tough when they are practically every other day), but there are many other issues that are obviously more important.

Jake_H said...

There is not any clear simple way to fix the problem of immaration. Both parties need to work together and find a compromise.

joannaz said...

Presidential hopeful Ron Paul is bieng called "the political phenomenon of the 2008 White House race". As a conservative libertarian he supports "decriminalization of marijuana and expresses tolerance for same-sex unions but fiercely opposes abortion". He does insist "on a strict interpretation of the US Constitution" and is a stauch supporter of the second amendment, however, he "[rejects] the idea of the United States as the world's policeman". Also, he calls for the "immediate withdrawal of US soldiers deployed in Iraq but also those stationed in South Korea, Japan and Europe." He even "wants the United States to quit the United Nations, NATO and the World Trade Organization."
"[Paul] argues for a return to the gold standard and eliminating the income tax."
Though his views are so radical, he holds 5-6% of the Republican vote and polls show he is attractive to both Democrats and those who are not affiliated with either party. He has even raised "8.1 million dollars" and "raised 4.2 million dollars via the Internet from about 37,000 donors."

Paul is certainly one of the most unorthodox and radical candidates of the presidential race, however he seems to be drawing support from both sides. What do you think Paul's impact will be on this election, if any, and what will it mean for the other candidates?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20071117/pl_afp/usvote2008republicanspaul;_ylt=Au5yJB6oWab43RwvPvQtBZOyFz4D