Monday, July 23, 2007

At the annual La Raza convention, some interesting remarks from Sen. Clinton (D-NY) and Sen. Obama (D-IL). The WaPo reports that (e.a.)

Both candidates promised to push for comprehensive immigration reform during their first year in office. Both stressed their support for legislation to help qualified high school graduates here illegally to attend college and eventually earn U.S. residency.

Clinton said she believed both that bill and one to create a path to citizenship for farmworkers still had a chance to pass the current Congress.

So the DREAM Act and AgJOBS still seem in play.

The Washington Times has more details about the particulars of their remarks. It seems Sen. Obama didn't care for much of the debate over the "grand bargain" (e.a.):
"Find out how many senators appeared before an immigration rally last year. Who was talking the talk, and who walked the walk — because I walked," Mr. Obama said at the National Council of La Raza's annual convention in Miami Beach. "I didn't run away from the issue, and I didn't just talk about it in front of Latino audiences."

The Illinois Democrat said the recent Senate immigration debate "was both ugly and racist in a way we haven't see since the struggle for civil rights."

Sen. Clinton also wasn't very happy with the "tone" of the debate (or at lest the opposition) and blames this tone on--what else!--the "poor economy":

"I am very disappointed, and I was really quite offended by the tone of the debate and some of what was said by outside parties who were trying to influence the debate," she said.

She blamed the tone on what she called a poor economy under President Bush.

"Until recently, I did not hear the kind of insecurity and opposition to bringing immigrants into American society as I hear today," she said, adding that when her husband was in office, "people were too busy getting a better future for themselves."

"They didn't talk to me about what was or wasn't on their minds about immigration," she said.

Both said they would back "grand bargain"-like legislation if they become president, though Sen. Obama sounded a little more supportive:
Mr. Obama was the most forceful, promising "in my first term we will make this a priority and get this done." Mrs. Clinton said she couldn't predict an outcome, but would "promise my best efforts."
Sen. Clinton also did not promise that she would end large-scale immigration raids if she became president.