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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

DEATH BLOW FOR ANTI-IMMIGRATION MOVEMENT?

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When the history of the current anti-immigration movement in the country is written, January 29th may be seen as a turning point in their fortunes. John McCain, one of the most pro-immigrant politicians in America today (in either party), has moved out ahead of the competition with a clear win in the Florida primary, a state that only allows registered Republicans to participate in their GOP primary. Rudy Guiliani will drop out of the race tomorrow and endorse McCain.



And for those who think somehow voters were duped and didn't really consider immigration, the polls suggest quite the opposite. McCain scored far better on immigration than any other Republican candidate among Republican voters.



For those who thought immigration would be a wedge issue that would be the dominant theme in their campaigns, the McCain win is no doubt troublesome. This is particularly true for GOP candidates already facing a tough year (28 Republican House members have already announced they are not seeking re-election). Will these candidates embrace the pro-immigration  McCain (who has been regularly hissed at campaign stops by anti-immigrant activists)?



This is not to say that the antis are completely finished. They still are scoring victories at the state level and as of now Congress is still too afraid to move on the issue. But the potency of the anti-immigration message is seemingly on the wane, as the Wall Street Journal pointed out yesterday.



I think we'll see some interesting movement on Capitol Hill if McCain gets the nomination. Republicans will not want to embarrass their presidential candidate in the midst of a tough campaign and if Democrats seek to move significant immigration legislation, GOP leaders may feel compelled to hammer out deals quietly and quickly in order to avoid situations where McCain would have to walk the tightrope of pleasing hardliners and not alienating Hispanics who he must convince to support him if he has any chance in November.

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Comments

  1. Kalifornian's Avatar
    Current legal immigration processing setup is moving at snail's pace at many points. History is that more applicants are added to the same system ( without increase of resources ) there by slowing the snail further. Will the amnesty induced 12 million applicants cause the processing system to halt ?
  2. bobzibub's Avatar
    The antis are bigger than that.
    Here's a story about African immigrants in Padua, Italy.
    http://www.cbc.ca/national/blog/video/internationalus/the_wall_of_padua_1.html
  3. George's Avatar
    My heartfelt sympathies to anti-immigration groups such as the Federation of American Immigration Reform and Center for Immigration Studies and to individuals such as Mark Kirkorian, Dan Steyn, Heather MacDonald and Steve Malinga at this time of their intense agony. Florida's results really breaks my heart!!
  4. Edward's Avatar
    Too bad that things aren't looking exactly rosy on the Democratic side. We all know that it was Bill Clinton who signed into law the horrible IIRIRA and AEDPA legislation in 1996. Now it looks like Hillary might be cut from the same mold with this nice quote from a New York Sun article:

    "Anybody who committed a crime in this country or in the country they came from has to be deported immediately, with no legal process. They are immediately gone,"

    The article is at http://www.nysun.com/article/70253
    More on the issue at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/al-giordano/immigration-policy-will-_b_83610.html
  5. Another voice's Avatar
    I think the prospect of Immigration reform with a candidate(exept fro Romney) from either party is looking better. McCain/Clinton/Obama I believe would all do it specially given a democratic majority in Congress. After super tuesday we shall see which one of these guys will position themselves better on the issue specially while fighting for California.

    PS So glad the sky has falle on the antis, we all knew that it was all based on racism and week realistic arguments. I wonder what Lou Dobbs and O'Rilley are going to do with their shows now.
  6. L's Avatar
    Even Sean Hannity was saying today on his radio show that Mccain is right on immigration and he is wrong. Ofcouse I was reading some user comments on politico, antis hate McCain so much , They call him Juan Mccain. Disgusting ....
  7. George Chell's Avatar
    As far as I am concerned it is self-interest. If it comes down between destroying the economy and destroying the law, ie., if you cause economic hardship to US citizens by throwing out 12 million people destroy the law, ie., to hell with the law!
  8. 's Avatar
    According to the exit polls Mitt Romney and John McCain tied 33% to 33% among the 89% of the Florida voters last night who were not Hispanic. Among Hispanics, who where 11% of the Florida GOP electorate last night, the vote was 54% McCain, 24% Rudy and 14% Romney. So it was the vote of Hispanic voters who put John McCain over the top in Florida, and gave him the most important win of his fight for the GOP nomination.
  9. Jenda's Avatar
    Do you think it might instead be that the movement isn't so much "anti-immigrant" as "anti-illegal", no matter the more extreme statements of it's "leaders?

    My own sense is that it is lower-middle class and working class anxiety at helot-style (to borrow a term from Victor Davis Hanson, who for all he is vilified in ILW.com, is not against legalizing those here who've kept their noses relatively clean) competition by people who are actively discouraged by present law from "playing by the rules" that drives a desire to secure the Southern border. A point system that caps off that competition might gain lots of traction with such folks while increasing legal immigration. Of course, then I expect to see additional anti-immigration sentiment among nurses, computer programmers and others whose scarcity value begins to decline.

    If I am wrong, I shall eat crow. I freely admit I though a "light footprint" strategy in Iraq was the way to go, even for some weeks after the first bombing of Samara. Wouldn't be the first time McCain proved wiser than I. ;-)
  10. George Chell's Avatar
    "My own sense is that it is lower-middle class and working class anxiety at helot-style (to borrow a term from Victor Davis Hanson, who for all he is vilified in ILW.com, is not against legalizing those here who've kept their noses relatively clean) competition by people who are actively discouraged by present law from "playing by the rules" that drives a desire to secure the Southern border. A point system that caps off that competition might gain lots of traction with such folks while increasing legal immigration. Of course, then I expect to see additional anti-immigration sentiment among nurses, computer programmers and others whose scarcity value begins to decline."

    Immigration or no immigration, outsourcing and outflow of Foreign Direct Investment would make sure that wages would not increase. People who make this argument forget that there is a global economy. I go abroad for non-emergency medical treatment including annual medical checkup. Keeping a foreign doctor or nurse out of this country does not mean I am going to use an American doctor or nurse for my routine medical check up.


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