Saturday, June 28, 2008

Obama's Cheap Shot on Immigration

Speaking before the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, Obama today said of McCain's commitment to immigration reform: "When he was running for his party's nomination, he walked away from that commitment."

A comprehensive search of both McCain's and Obama's sites as well as the Internet revealed nothing to support that accusation.

McCain co-sponsored with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass), a wide-ranging immigration bill that would have provided both increased border security and a path to citizenship. That legislation stalled in Congress. McCain had to buck GOP opposition in order to try and help Kennedy craft a coalition to pass the legislation.

McCain's legislation was widely derided by opponents as "amnesty."

It is true that during the primary season, McCain addressed a political reality that stricter enforcement had to come first in order to win widespread acceptance among Americans. Obama's web site indicates his position is the same.

"The legislation "wasn't very popular . . . in my party," McCain said Friday adding that, "We will not succeed in the Congress until we can convince the majority of the American people we have border security."

The McCain campaign responded to Obama today, listing five "poison pill" amendments sponsored or supported by Obama which, according to the McCain Campaign, helped doom immigration reform.

Obama's web site page on immigration listed his position which looks to be a carbon copy of the McCain-Kennedy legislation. Indeed, Obama's position places border security first:

From Obama's web site:

Create Secure Borders

Obama wants to preserve the integrity of our borders. He supports additional personnel, infrastructure and technology on the border and at our ports of entry.

Improve Our Immigration System

Obama believes we must fix the dysfunctional immigration bureaucracy and increase the number of legal immigrants to keep families together and meet the demand for jobs that employers cannot fill.

Remove Incentives to Enter Illegally

Obama will remove incentives to enter the country illegally by cracking down on employers who hire undocumented immigrants.

Bring People Out of the Shadows

Obama supports a system that 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.

Work with Mexico

Obama believes we need to do more to promote economic development in Mexico to decrease illegal immigration.

The facts from the Obama and McCain sites supports the contention that Obama's remarks were a cheap shot.

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