Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Republican National Committee has put out a new ad (in Spanish) promoting John McCain's work in immigration "reform":

Title: "Commitment V. Rhetoric"

How do you know someone is a friend?

You know because they stand up and defend you when it is hard.

When Hispanics needed a friend in Congress during the immigration debate... Who stood up? Who spoke out?

John McCain.

Senator McCain worked with Republicans and Democrats alike to form immigration legislation.

And while the bill didn't pass, only McCain demonstrated a real commitment to reforming immigration in a way that honored our laws as well as our immigrants and traditions.

And Barack Obama?

Obama did not stand up. Obama did not speak out. And when the time came for him to do the right thing, he did not.

Obama supported measures designed to insert a deadly "poison pill" to kill the immigration legislation.

If Obama didn't even have the courage to stand up for immigrants, how can he claim to have the strength to change the way Washington works?

John McCain is ready to lead. Barack Obama is not.

There are a lot of vague charges and statements here. This ad seems to be conflating support of McCain-Kennedy-style immigration bills with friendship with "Hispanics." Does this imply that opponents of such bills are not "friends" of "Hispanics"? If so, it's pretty critical of many of McCain's fellow Republicans (and some Democrats) in the US Senate.

This ad's assertion is also troubled by the fact that the "Hispanic" community in fact has a variety of opinions about immigration and immigration reform and that there is considerable controversy within that community about some of the key provisions of bills like McCain-Kennedy. For example, according to a Pew poll last year, only 9% of "Hispanics" believe that there are too few immigrants (42% believe that there are too many), but most "comprehensive" bills would lead to an increase in the number of immigrants.