Hillary Panders on Immigration

I'm a DLC Democrat, and anyone who's read my posts knows that. Still, I'm not afraid to take my moderate friends to task when they're wrong. Sen. Hillary Clinton, who I sometimes agree with and sometimes dislike, has moved waaaay to the right on immigration, telling the New York Daily News that she favors building a wall along the Mexican border.
This is clearly pandering. The wall idea is stupid in all its manifestations, as even Republicans like John McCain have noted. The only reason any politician would advocate building a wall along the border is because he or she is pandering to the racist, anti-immigrant Right. As a piece of electoral strategy, this is a strange move. HRC has already lost most of her liberal credentials by voting for a stupid war. While she has been quietly critical of the execution of the war, she had hardly been apologetic about her support for Iraq. Why, then, would she pander to the Right? Obvious answer: Hillary is looking past the Democratic nomination fight, trying to seal up independents and moderates. Of course, the problem with that is that she's way to the right of most Americans on this issue. Our job, as progressives, should be to show Hillary that she cannot pander to the paleo-racists with impunity. She will have to answer for this stupidity if she wants our party's nomination.

Tags: Hillary Clinton, immigration, wall (all tags)

Comments

17 Comments

Re: Hillary Panders on Immigration

Did you read past the lead?

"A wall in certain areas would be appropriate," she said, endorsing a high-tech "smart fence" that could spot people approaching from 200 or 300 yards.

You can argue that it's wrong to build any wall, anywhere, and you can even argue against high-tech surveillance.  That's a separate debate.  But I don't think any fair reading of Hillary's statements suggests that she wants to build a wall along the entire Mexican border.

by Steve M 2006-04-23 12:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Panders on Immigration
The important part of this story, which perhaps I didn't address, is the fact that she's advocating a two-part plan, with a crackdown coming first. This is exactly the same idea being advocated by the hardline Republicans that broke the original immigration debate before Easter. She's essentially opposing the Kennedy-McCain proposal, which was the most sensible option on the table. The fact is, she's giving the impression that she's in favor of the far-right's immigration plan.
by bluenc 2006-04-23 12:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Panders on Immigration

Is there any issue that Hillary doesn't pander on? I don't believe the woman has a sincere bone in her body.

by Gary Boatwright 2006-04-23 06:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Panders on Immigration
I try not to read people's minds and guess as to their sincerity, but this is a clear example of someone playing political games. Still, it's difficult to make assumptions like that. For example, the stuff Feingold has done over the last year could either be political posturing or principled battling, depending on how you look at it. But he's never done anything as naked as this.
by bluenc 2006-04-23 06:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Panders on Immigration

For the record, my previous mild hostility towards another Clinton presidency has morphed into a Dick Morris animosity. Clinton should remain in the Senate and make a play to become the first woman Majority Leader in American history. If Clinton wins the Democratic primary I will be voting and working to defeat her regardless of the GOP opposition.

by Gary Boatwright 2006-04-24 01:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Panders on Immigration

Steve, sorry, but I think you and hillary both are playing word games. Despite her poor attempt at qualification, I think the burden is on her to explain, where along the border she would not have a wall or fence. Absent such specification, I think it's fair for voters to assume that if she thinks a wall is necessary to keep illegals out, then she probably intends to put up a wall everywhere illegals have and could possibly cross the border.

by blueflorida 2006-04-23 01:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Panders on Immigration

It's a free country and you can assume whatever you like.  I don't agree it's reasonable to assume she would favor something as absurd as a 700-mile fence, though.

by Steve M 2006-04-23 04:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Panders on Immigration

please tell me what is wrong with building a wall? there is nothing, absolutely nothing wrong with it. we need to know who is in this country, and this has nothing to do with having 50 or 50 million hispanics here.  If you want to keep a growing hispanic population, that is fine, so we will give more visas to hispanic workers.  But we need to know who is here, especially in the age of terrorism, so that we can maintain our safety

by yomoma2424 2006-04-23 01:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Panders on Immigration
how the fuck are we going to do it? a wall covering the border would have to be the equivalent of stretching from the washington monument to the sears tower. where's the money for this coming from? we're running huge budget deficits and fighting two wars. what does this do for the 12 million undocumented immigrants? it's not a real plan. no one is going to really build a wall. it's just a stupid campaign line.
by bluenc 2006-04-23 01:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Panders on Immigration

it is feasible through much of the territory. I guarantee you itll put a dent in the number. And how do you do it? Dump earmarks, stop dumping money into bureaucratic messes, make the govenment more lean and effective and raise taxes.

by yomoma2424 2006-04-23 01:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Panders on Immigration
Which bureaucratic messes do you advocate cutting out? How do you make government leaner? That's all stuff that's easy to say, but it's a different thing to actually do it. Besides, that's not really the issue. The point is that a fence doesn't do jack-shit for the 12 million illegal immigrants here now. That's the current problem.
by bluenc 2006-04-23 06:51PM | 0 recs
How about a flaming moat?

We could dig a moat along the American/Mexican border and fill it with flaming oil. Immigrants and drugs could never cross the border and all our problems would be solved.

by Gary Boatwright 2006-04-23 06:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Panders on Immigration

You folks need to get out a bit more. The American people strongly support the construction of a fence along our southern border. Don't believe me? Check out the polling data over at http://www.pollingreport.com/immigration .htm. The Quinnipiac and WSJ/NBC polls show very strong support for the House Republican approach, not the McKennedy Amnesty the Senate is working on. As for McCain, his views on immigration happen to match those of ANSWER and the CPUSA, not exactly right-wing organizations.

Would a fence work? Ask the Israelis. Apparently not a single terrorist has gotten over/under the Israeli security barrier. Cost? About one month in Iraq and a much better payoff. In truth illegal aliens cost taxpayers so much, that the U.S. would net save money before the fence was completed.

Thank you

Peter Schaeffer

by pschaeffer 2006-04-23 09:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Panders on Immigration

What a joke. Did you even read that polling data? Let's see:

In the USA Today/Gallup poll, 63% said they would favor allowing illegal immigrants to "remain in the U.S. and become U.S. citizens" if they meet certain requirements. Hmm, sounds like Kennedy-McCain to me.

But it's the CBS poll that's the kicker! They basically lay out the Kennedy-McCain bill and ask if people would support it. 74% said they would support it.

When asked about a wall, the numbers are split evenly.

The Time magazine poll revealed that 72 percent supported a proposal just like Kennedy-McCain.

In the AP poll, only 32 percent they would be "very confident" or "somewhat confident" that a wall on the Mexican border would work.

It goes on and on. The American public supports a guest worker program similar to what Kennedy and McCain have proposed. The wall is everything public policy isn't supposed to be: impractical, divisive, wasteful, ineffective, and completely incongruous with American values.

by bluenc 2006-04-23 09:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Panders on Immigration

Yes, I actually did read the polling data. Let's take a look.

On building a fence/wall:

CBS News April 6-9                                  48:48 (tied)
FOX News/Opinion Dynamics April 4-5     50:43 (in favor)
Time Poll March 29-30                              56:40 (in favor)
FOX News/Opinion Dynamics Oct 11-12   51:37 (in favor)

On McCain/Kennedy:

FOX News/Opinion Dynamics April 4-5
"Do you think it is fair or unfair to grant rights to illegal immigrants while thousands of people wait each year to come to the United States legally?" (an accurate description of McCain/Kennedy)

81:12 (opposed)

Time Poll March 29-30
"What if the United States deported all illegal immigrants and toughened security to stop them from entering this country? Do you think the United States would be better off or worse off?"

51:38 (better off)

NBC News/Wall Street Journal March 10-13
"As you may know, President Bush has proposed to allow foreigners who have jobs but are staying illegally in the United States to apply for legal, temporary-worker status. Do you strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose this proposal?"

59:37 (opposed)

"In addition to improving security at our borders, Congress is considering a proposal that would impose a monetary fine on foreigners who are currently in the United States illegally and then grant them legal, temporary-worker status. Which of the following statements do you agree with more?

"Statement A: We SHOULD grant temporary-worker status to foreigners who are here illegally. Most of them will stay in the United States anyway, and this plan would allow the government to keep track of them and their activities and require them to pay taxes while they are here.

"Statement B: We should NOT grant temporary-worker status to foreigners who are here illegally, as this would make them and their families eligible for government services while they are here. We should not reward people who have broken the law, and this will encourage even more people to enter the United States illegally."

39:56 (should not grant)  

Quinnipiac University Feb. 21-28
"Do you support or oppose making it easier for illegal immigrants to become citizens?"

62:32 (opposed)

"Do you support or oppose making it easier for illegal immigrants to become legal workers?"

41:54 (opposed)

FOX News/Opinion Dynamics April 18-19
"Do you think illegal immigrants from Mexico should be given special
treatment and allowed to jump in front of immigrants from other countries
that want to come to the United States legally, or not?" (an accurate description of McCain/Kennedy except for Mexico versus all illegals)

90:4 (opposed)

If anyone thinks the American people favor a "liberal" approach to illegal immigration, take a look at the question on anchor babies

"Under current law, any child born in the United States is a citizen of the United States. If an illegal immigrant has a baby while living in the United States, do you think the child should automatically become a U.S. citizen or not?"

45:49 (should not)

With sufficiently tricky wording, it is possible to get a majority in favor of a "guestworker" plan as long as it is well enough disguised. When the questions are asked honestly, the answer is a very clear "NO".

Thank you

Peter Schaeffer

by pschaeffer 2006-04-26 09:22AM | 0 recs
Immigrants - NOT the root of our problems

In truth illegal aliens cost taxpayers so much, that the U.S. would net save money before the fence was completed

Care to put some facts behind this GOP spin?

The Republicans would like us to believe that "illegal" "aliens" are the cause of our crisis in health care. We are supposed to see Mexican immigrants who work hard in so many places in our economy as "reconquistas" bent on reclaiming their terriroty and as welfare queens and lazy bums. I expect soon to see claims that they are also carrying bird flu and killer bees.

Yes, if it were not for those pesky Mexicans crossing our border it would be morning in America again! Certainly we aren't to blame for a failed health care system and a budget broken by a foreign war of aggression. Can't be our fault can it?

by Curt Matlock 2006-04-24 05:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Panders on Immigration

GOP spin? Wow, I thought McCain, Graham, Martinez, Brownback, Specter, etc. favored amnesty for illegal aliens. Did I mention our Corporate Coyote in Chief, Senor Bush?

As for the numbers, that's the easy part. According to http://www.washingtontimes.com/national/ 20041206-102115-6766r.htm California alone is losing (net) $8.9 billion a year providing services to illegals. Back in 1994 the National Academy of Sciences found that Open Borders was costing each California family $1,178 in additonal taxes per year ($9 billion total). See http://www.nap.edu/books/0309063566/html /9.html.

By contrast, a complete fence might cost $6-8 billion.

Funny how so-called Democrats turn into slavish, drooling Bush fans when the topic is cheap labor for big business.

Thank you

Peter Schaeffer

by pschaeffer 2006-04-26 11:21PM | 0 recs

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