The Xenophobic Democratic Party?

The rationale for the doubletalk from John Edwards on drivers licenses for undocumented aliens becomes clearer. Rassmussen Reports says:

Just 19% of Democratic Primary Voters in New Hampshire believe that drivers licenses should be made available to undocumented workers. Sixty-six percent (66%) disagree. A separate survey released yesterday found that Democrats nationwide hold similar views with 68% opposing the policy.

Edwards apparent (his answer is hard to decipher and rather nonsensical) change of heart (he favored drivers licenses for undocumented aliens in 2004) is clearly a result of political expediency.

The one candidate who spoke clearly and correctly on this issue was Barack Obama. He explained very well why offering dirvers licenses to undocumented aliens is good policy. He refused to pander to the xenophobia still present in the Democratic Party. Good for Obama. I hope he sticks to it in the face of this ugly side of the Democratic Party:

Fifty-one percent (51%) of Democratic Primary voters believe that when police pull someone over for a traffic violation, they should automatically check to see if the driver is in the country illegally. Thirty-eight percent (38%) believe that illegal immigrants discovered in this manner should be deported while 31% disagree. Half (51%) believe that such a policy invites discrimination.

It is interestng that Senator Clinton took heat on this as her initial answer was rather vacillating. She later clarified her support for the policy. My candidate, Chris Dodd, gave a clear, and atrocious, answer.

For me personally, the clear winner on this issue is Barack Obama. The clear losers are my candidate Chris Dodd and especially the doubletalking John Edwards.


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    • robodd on November 7, 2007 at 5:20 pm

    No illegal immigrant is going to get a license.  In order to get a license, you have to show you have insurance (law in CA, probably NY).  I doubt an insurance company will insure an illegal alien.  And I doubt an illegal alien would ask an insurance company to do so.

    The real purpose is to know who is in the country, where they live, etc.  I doubt an illegal alien will assist for this purpose.

  1. that we need a reasonable immigration policy before we can issue drivers licenses with immigration status included on them. I know a number of deputy sherriffs and local police that believe that they should turn undocumented immigrant information over to the INS, ’cause it’s the right thing to do’. Since I live in a very liberal area I find the attitude appalling. Immigration laws need to be humanized before anything can be done. Personally I don’t care if someone is here legally or not, as long as they obey the laws and are contributing members of the community.

    Full disclosure: my step-son was killed by an undocumented immigrant drunk driver. The police released the driver based on OR and he was never seen again. So I have issues with police checking procedures and with fake documents.

    I have bigger issues with arbitrary laws on immigration, randomly enforced.

    So what are the positions of the candidates regarding real immigration reform, not just the drivers license issue?

    • Turkana on November 7, 2007 at 5:44 pm

    clearly picks his spots, for pandering.

    • TheRef on November 7, 2007 at 6:26 pm

    Thanksgiving meal, pause a moment and say thanks to the natives of Mexico, Central and South America who work in the poultry factories cleaning and dressing the turkey and chicken that you are enjoying. In all likelihood, all or part of the farm work done in raising the poultry stock and the majority of the processing work done to package it for your supermarket was done by illegal aliens. Would you rather hatch your own eggs; feed and care for your own poultry; slaughter, pluck and process same for your family? I doubt that you would.

    I reside every day on a beautiful golf course that remains green, manicured and well maintained by these same people from south of our border. Personally, I have hired contractors to do stone work and landscaping work on my lawn whose origin is from these same south of the border countries. I have never met a single worker who was not conscientious and very hard working.

    I am not so naive as to think that there are no shady characters from these countries. But generally speaking, I find the people to be much like us with dreams, ambitions, and hopes for themselves and their families.

    Are many of them breaking the law? Of course. Many are in our country illegally. Many of our countrymen argue that they [the illegals] should be rounded-up and shipped off back to their country of origin. Many of us, already residing in America, have had this same reaction to other [non-Hispanic] immigrants, legal or not …a prejudice against people not of our same type, demeanor, ethnicity.

    Our borders are, relatively speaking, open. There has been and undoubtedly will continue to be work for people willing to take the chance and endure the hardship of coming to America. As long as these folks continue to provide a valuable service (manual labor) that is oftentimes not available from Americans, high fences and other extreme measures are unlikely to stop their entry.

    The driver license issue is a red herring for people to hide behind when they wish not to expose their underlying prejudice …Democrats, Independents and Republicans alike.

    Unless or until the borders are closed, we should take the steps necessary to manage the safety and well being of all those human beings residing within the borders of the United States of America. That includes issuing driver licenses to qualified drivers operating motor vehicles on our streets and public highways.

  2. who’s the problem. From culture wars, gay people, terrorists to immigrants the pols always blame anything or anyone else, while they screw us with one hand and stir the pot of hate and prejudice with the other. 

    • oculus on November 7, 2007 at 6:57 pm

    its too complex for soundbites.

  3. presenting your analyses of candidates’ reactions and stances on the issues you have and are addressing in a database format?

    I’d find that incredibly valuable.  Thanks for writing these so close to real time.

  4. …but I just want to take the opportunity to make note of it. I wish thousands of others in wwwLand would take your lead and be willing, without hesitation, to say things like this about their own chosen candidates when the shoe fits:

    “My candidate, Chris Dodd, gave a clear, and atrocious, answer.”

    In my opinion, this kind of open criticism sets a high standard that ought to be widely emulated.

    • LoE on November 7, 2007 at 8:56 pm

    There is a similar policy in place here in NM.  Uninsured drivers, he says, have been like 1/3.

    And, despite all the xenophobia elsewhere, this state might be the most “Mexican” of the 50.  Practically every last Hispanic here has Mexican ancestry.  Some descended from those with Coronado in 1540, some arrived from the other side of the Rio Grande this week.  Puerto Ricans, Cubans, islanders of all sorts almost unheard of.

    Immigration has never surfaced in this state as an issue.  Even in the swift-boat-funded Heather Wilson vs. Patricia Madrid catfight in Albuquerque last year.

    Along the actual US-Mexico border, there’s only 1 or 2 congressional districts left represented by a Republican.  People don’t like that Tom Tancredo shit.  This year, conditions are such that the Democrats could even take NM-02.  If not, we’ll have Diane Denish as Governor after the 2010 Census.  She’s good on procedural stuff, and will likely preside over a redistricting which could give us all 3 districts after that, perhaps.

    • banger on November 8, 2007 at 1:28 am

    Personally, I think most people that object to illegals do so out of concern for the law. The fact an immigrant is illegal means that he is illegal and to people who are relatively simple that means they are breaking the law and should suffer a penalty. I think it is a mistake for the left to be concerned about being, essentially, pro-illegal immigration. The people the left is trying to win over, i.e., the non-hispanid working poor are usually the people most against illegal immigration because illegal-immigration lowers wages at the bottom so these people suffer directly. I don’t suffer because I don’t have to compete with hispanics.

    Most people here don’t seem to understand that huge rise in illegal immigration is due to corporate and business support. I personally favor a program of legal immigration but then that would make businesses have to pay a semi-decent wage and make them vulnerable to regulation.

    We should favor legal immigration not champion the current system–and you have to admit it is a system and it exists only to benefit the rich. As far as I’m concerned, if Edwards wants to favor what New Hampshire voters favor, that’s fine by me–he’s the candidate that listens to and cares for the bottom half of the economic spectrum–a real rarity in the Democratic Party.

    • timber on November 8, 2007 at 5:13 am

    Tourists can drive in US with a international license permanently  or a drivers license from their home country for a limited time.

    So how about issuing international lisence that shows–not valid for employment.

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