October 24, 2007

GOOD PRIMARY POLITICS, BAD POLICY:

Thompson stirs rivals with immigration plan (Michael Levenson, October 24, 2007, Boston Globe)

Highlighting what he believes are key vulnerabilities for his main rivals, Thompson called for stripping federal funds from cities and states that do not report illegal immigrants and criticized Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney for allowing so-called sanctuary cities in New York and Massachusetts.

The first principle of Thompson's plan is "No Amnesty," a clear shot at another rival, Senator John McCain of Arizona, who joined President Bush in trying unsuccessfully to push through a sweeping immigration overhaul bill that would have created a guest worker program and provided a path to possible citizenship for the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the country. [...]

Party officials in key primary states said yesterday that the candidate who can win voters' trust on immigration could make significant gains. Polls indicate that Republicans care more than Democrats about the issue and support a harder line against illegal immigrants. [...]

The former Tennessee senator's plan also calls for stronger laws forcing employers to verify that workers are not illegal immigrants, for a more rigorous system to track who is coming in and out of the country, and for increased prosecution of smugglers who bring illegal immigrants across the Mexican border. [...]

McCain and Giuliani criticized Thompson, saying he did not show leadership on illegal immigration during the eight years he was in the US Senate, ending in 2003.

"Where was Fred Thompson when he had the chance to tackle illegal immigration and fix a broken system?" asked Katie Levinson, a Giuliani spokeswoman.


The only saving grace is that even as they fight over the issue none of the top tier guys are serious about. All would sign an amnesty.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 24, 2007 12:00 AM
Comments

The major blogs on the right won't stop pounding the candidates with this issue so something like this was bound to happen. While I agree that all of the top candidates would sign an amnesty bill, won't running this far to the right on immigration make winning the general election more difficult.

Posted by: Patrick H at October 24, 2007 10:24 AM

With polls consistently showing 60%+ of the public wants tighter controls on immigration before any amnesty type program this program helps Thompson in both the primary and the general.

Posted by: AWW at October 24, 2007 12:57 PM

No, it's good politics for now. It's down the road that being the party of whites only is harmful.

Posted by: oj at October 24, 2007 2:42 PM

What about his past voting record? Candidates change their mind, but why lie about it?

Voted to grant amnesty to close to one million illegal aliens from Nicaragua and Cuba in 1997:
Sen. Thompson voted to grant legal status to Nicaraguans and Cubans who had lived in the United States illegally since 1995, along with their spouses and minor unmarried children. The overall ten year impact of this legislation will be the addition of some 967,000 people to U.S. population.

Voted in 1996 to continue chain migration:
Sen. Thompson in 1996 voted against the Simpson Amendment to S.1664. It was a vote in favor of a chain migration system that has been the primary reason for annual immigration levels snowballing from less than 300,000 in 1965 to around a million. Sen. Thompson supported provisions that allow immigrants to send for their adult relatives. Then each of those relatives can send for their and their spouse’s adult relatives, creating a never-ending and ever-growing chain. The bi-partisan Barbara Jordan Commission recommended doing away with the adult relative categories (begun only in the 1950s) in order to lessen wage depression among lower-paid American workers. The Simpson Amendment attempted to carry out that recommendation. But Sen. Thompson helped kill the reform by voting with the 80-20 majority against the amendment. Sen. Thompson’s vote helped continue a level of immigration that the Census Bureau projects will result in a doubled U.S. population in the next century.

Voted in favor of chain migration in 1996:
Sen. Thompson voted in 1996 against the Feinstein Amendment to S.1664. The Feinstein Amendment would have reduced annual admission of spouses and minor children of citizens to 480,000 and significantly reduced annual limits other categories of chain migration such as parents of citizens and adult unmarried children of citizens. By voting against the Feinstein Amendment, Sen. Thompson voted in favor of a system of chain migration that has been the primary reason for annual immigration levels snowballing from less than 300,000 in 1965 to around a million today.

Voted to allow firms to lay off Americans to make room for foreign workers in 1998:
Before the Senate passed the H-1B doubling bill (S.1723), Sen. Thompson had an opportunity to vote for a measure requiring U.S. firms to check a box on a form attesting that they had first sought an American worker for the job. Sen. Thompson voted against that, joining those who said the requirement would give government too much authority over corporations’ right to hire whomever they please from whatever country.

In 1996, removed higher fines for businesses which hire illegal aliens:
Sen. Thompson, in committee consideration of S.1664 protected businesses from having to pay higher fines when they are caught hiring illegal aliens. Under the idea that current fines were not enough of a deterrent against businesses cutting their labor costs by hiring illegal aliens, the Senate immigration subcommittee approved higher fines.

Tried to kill voluntary pilot programs for workplace verification in 1996:
Sen. Thompson voted IN FAVOR of the Abraham Amendment to S.1664. He was part of a coalition of pro-business conservatives and liberal civil libertarians who tried to use the amendment to kill the establishment of voluntary pilot programs in high-immigration states. The programs were intended to assist employers in verifying whether people they had just hired had the legal right to work in this country.
...
RON PAUL / TOM TANCREDO IN '08!

Posted by: DinTN at October 24, 2007 4:06 PM

DinTN,

Do your research, dude. Most of what you post is GOOD in the eyes of many readers on this blog, and once OJ sees the Paul/Tancredo part of your post, the excoriation will cause your groin to pucker and shrivel.

For my part, nothing you post above poses a serious problem, as the rational policy would be to "normalize" the people who are here and allow in a much greater number legally than we currently do.

Obviously, this has to go along with much better tracking, more focus on aggressive assimilation, and the ability to toss out criminals.

Every mouth comes with two arms, two legs, and billions of brain cells. Human beings are the ONLY resource, and the folks here generally recgonize that.

Tancredo? You're kidding, right?

Posted by: Bruno at October 24, 2007 4:33 PM

Bruno!

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at October 24, 2007 6:12 PM

Yes, the voting record is the point. He knows how to feed out the red meat, but he's not a nativist idiot.

Posted by: oj at October 24, 2007 8:35 PM
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