Monday, March 24, 2008

Economy Tops Immgration As Issue In Presidential Race

As John McCain wraps up the Republican nomination, immigration seems to recede as a big issue in the presidential campaign. The prospective GOP nominee is believed to be friendly to a comprehensive immigration reform, though of late he's been stressing fences and employment verification to appease the nativist right. But actually it's the economy and the free fall of financial markets that has pushed immigration aside as a burning issue. Even the nativist right now argues that the undocumented are more of an threat to the jobs of real Americans than to the security of the country. Employee verification is paraded as a bulwark against slave labor rather a way to punish the undocumented. States and localities have taken up the slack as the national debate disappears. Still there are attempts in Congress to quicken the anti-immigration cause -- e,g., the Shuler-Tancredo SAVE bill. But even that, which the Democratic leadership in the House is staving off, is meant more to get the representatives on record before the elections. (See Chicago Tribune article.)

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