Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Clinton vs. Obama vs. McCain vs. Huckabee: Immigration

Here is a comparison of what the leading candidates say about immigration on their "issues" pages of their campaign web sites. These are just excerpts but I have provided the links if you want to read all of what they say. I tried to condense each to about the same length. I assume that these issue statements were carefully decided upon and carefully crafted to appeal and communicate to a national audience (as opposed to a speech directed to a particular special interest audience). I have added some comments in red.

Clinton:
Hillary has consistently called for comprehensive immigration reform that respects our immigrant heritage and honors the rule of law. She believes comprehensive reform must have as essential ingredients a strengthening of our borders, greater cross-cooperation with our neighbors, strict but fair enforcement of our laws, federal assistance to our state and local governments, strict penalties for those who exploit undocumented workers, and a path to earned legal status for those who are here, working hard, paying taxes, respecting the law, and willing to meet a high bar.

Obama:
Obama wants to preserve the integrity of our borders. … Obama believes we must fix the dysfunctional immigration bureaucracy and increase the number of legal immigrants to keep families together and meet the demand for jobs that employers cannot fill. Obama will remove incentives to enter the country illegally by cracking down on employers who hire undocumented immigrants. Obama supports a system that allows undocumented immigrants who are in good standing to pay a fine, learn English, and go to the back of the line for the opportunity to become citizens. Obama believes we need to do more to promote economic development in Mexico to decrease illegal immigration.

McCain:
I have always believed that our border must be secure and that the federal government has utterly failed in its responsibility to ensure that it is secure. …But a secure border will contribute to addressing our immigration problem most effectively if we also: Recognize the importance of building strong allies in Mexico and Latin America … Recognize the importance of pro-growth policies … so American businesses can hire and pay the best. Recognize the importance of a flexible labor market to keep employers in business and our economy on top. … Recognize the importance of assimilation of our immigrant population, which includes learning English, … and respecting the values of a democratic society. Recognize that America will always be that "shining city upon a hill," …

Huckabee:
[Whether you agree or not you have to appreciate that at least Huckabee is direct, succinct, and specific about where he stands on issues.] Securing our borders must be our top priority and has reached the level of a national emergency. … I oppose and will never allow amnesty. … I oppose and will not tolerate employers who hire illegals. … I oppose the economic integration of North America … No open borders, no amnesty, no sanctuary, no false Social Security numbers, no driver's licenses for illegals.

Other recent comparison posts of mine: abortion, stem cell research, marriage
, energy/environment, federal spending

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