Monday, June 30, 2008

The US candidates view of immigration

According to an article in the Washington Post, Barack Obama and John McCain agree on what will they do about immigration.

Obama recognized that McCain had supported a comprehensive reform in the past, but
he walked away from that commitment and he's said he wouldn't even support his own legislation if it came up for a vote.
The disagreement is a kind of political strategy. The intention, first, is to attract the Latino voters who could turn around the results of the election and, second, to avoid that the ones who see an immigration reform as amnesty to vote for the other candidate.

Curiously, both candidates supported policies to secure borders, punish employers who hire illegal immigrants, expand guest worker programs and establish a way for millions of immigrants to obtain the citizenship.

But supporting such unpopular measures has its cost. For Senator McCain the cost was almost loosing his presidential candidacy. So McCain decided to tell campaign audiences he would think first of border security.

But, when he is with Latino audiences, his speech varies a little, though he does not openly endorse citizenship neither in front of possible voters or in the official site of his campaign.
It will be my top priority yesterday, today and tomorrow," he said. "We have to secure our borders ... but we also must proceed with a temporary worker program that is verifiable and truly temporary. We must also understand that 12 million people are here, and they are here illegally, and they are God's children.
In this, Obama is more clear with what he thinks USA has to do with the 12 million illegal immigrants that live in their country. His official site is clearer too. Obama said he supported
a reform that finally brings the 12 million people who are here illegally out of the shadows by requiring them to take steps to become legal citizens.
He has said too that his proposed reform
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.
As the Washington Post reports, Obama supported the immigration measure in the Senate last year, and participated in the negotiations that produced it.

Here is where the position of Obama and McCain differed. In the first intent to pass this reform, the amendment failed. McCain voted against it.

A second proposal was to cut the guest worker program from 400,000 to 200,00 a year. It also failed and this time McCain did not vote.

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