Saturday, November 3, 2007

I've been hearing that some folks in D.C. are paying attention to what's happening now in Oklahoma: an immigration measure (HB1804) went into effect November 1 and has already survived some legal challenges. Among other things, this bill makes it illegal to knowingly transport one of the "undocumented" (under certain circumstances with some exceptions), requires certain forms of documentation to prove a worker's legal status, and requires proof of legality for access to certain public benefits. The Tulsa World has a page dedicated to this bill and the public debate over it. Some reports indicate that "thousands" may have fled even before this law took effect, and certain business claim that they are already beginning to notice "shortages" of "illegal" workers. Some of the employer-verification requirements will go into effect July 1, 2008.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Washington Post reports on how Democratic candidates for president may find themselves forced to speak in more depth about immigration policy, and the Post thinks that such speech could present some challenges for them.
Has there been a (minuscule) shift in public opinion? According to Rasmussen, Giuliani and Thompson are now tied with Obama in polling support--this is the highest Thompson has so far scored against Obama. Meanwhile, some on the right are sharpening their knives after Clinton's recent debate answer about supplying licenses to the "undocumented."

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

James Carville's Democracy Corps has a new polling report up that touches upon what the public feels discontent about--and it has some interesting statistics the role of "illegal immigration" and trade policy in the public's anxiety (see pages 7-13). (Via Yglesias, who thinks public unrest over "illegal immigration" is founded upon an "erroneous conviction" and, he implies, xenophobia as well.)
Hot Air has an interesting clip up from the recent Democratic presidential debate; it seems people are still trying to figure out where Hillary Clinton ultimately stands on NY Gov. Spitzer (D)'s plan to grant driver's licenses to the "undocumented." She sounds like she's basically in favor of it--though she seems to be avoiding endorsing it explicitly. Chris Dodd sounds like he opposes plans to offer such licenses to the "undocumented." Barack Obama seems to think that granting licenses is the "right idea":
Obama: I think that it is the right idea, and I disagree with Chris because there is a public safety concern. We can make sure that drivers who are illegal come out of the shadows, that they can be tracked, that they are properly trained, and that will make our roads safer.

That doesn't negate the need for us to reform illegal immigration.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Rudy Giuliani doesn't sound like he likes local and state governments making provisions to enforce immigration laws--and doesn't sound too keen on workplace enforcement, either (e.a.):

WASHINGTON - Responsibility for stopping illegal immigration belongs to the federal government and not to cities, states or businesses, Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani said Tuesday.

Giuliani told small-business owners he would not punish them for unwittingly hiring illegal immigrants.

Federal officials are "trying to put the responsibility for this on employers, on city government, on state government," the former New York mayor said during a conference call arranged by the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

"The simple fact is, nobody but the federal government can stop people from coming into this country illegally, and the federal government does a very bad job of that," Giuliani said.

He said no other presidential candidate will solve the problem.

"If you elect a Democrat, they're just going to open the borders, and more illegals are going to come in," he said.

"And if you elect one of my (Republican) opponents, they want to crack down on cities and states, and they want to crack down on businesses, but they don't want to solve the problem," he said. "If I become president, in a very short while, you will not be able to walk into the United States without identifying yourselves."

Giuliani says he would build a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border that includes high-tech monitoring to detect those trying to enter the U.S. illegally. He also calls for hiring more border patrol agents.

Legal immigrants should be issued a tamper-proof, federal identification card, he said, "and if something is wrong with that card, it's the federal government's responsibility, not yours."

He seems to be emphasizing border enforcement above all.
Sen. Chambliss (R-GA) still sounds like he could be vulnerable to a Democratic challenger. One recent poll puts his approval rating at 52%, and another poll might have an especially troubling result for the incumbent:
An InsiderAdvantage / Majority Opinion survey conducted Oct. 24-25 of 400 registered voters in Georgia indicates that a rematch of U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss versus former Sen. Max Cleland, who lost to Chambliss in 2002, might be the Democratic Party’s strongest hope for reclaiming the Senate seat.

The poll asked voters which candidate they favored if given a choice between Chambliss and Cleland.

The results:

Chambliss - 36 percent
Cleland - 24 percent
Undecided - 40 percent

The survey showed some interesting numbers, said InsiderAdvantage CEO Matt Towery, noting that while white voters were decided at a rate of nearly 71 percent, African-American voters were undecided at a rate of 73 percent. Similarly, he said, 73 percent of all Republicans were decided, with Chambliss receiving almost all of that vote, while 47 percent of Democrats remained undecided.

Chambliss still leads Cleland by 12 points--but, with 40% undecided, a lot could change.
More doubts are being raised about Spitzer's plan for licenses in NY--even some who might be newly eligible for licensing as a result of this proposal are saying that they might refuse to apply for licenses, saying that they fear that they might be singled out for discrimination.

Monday, October 29, 2007

It seems as though some administration-backed trade agreements are encountering some resistance in Congress.
Rasmussen suggests that the DREAM Act isn't very popular:

A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that only 22% of voters support the proposal introduced by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). The Dream Act would have given legal status to children of illegal aliens who complete two years of college or military service. That low level of support is very similar to support for the “comprehensive” reform measure that failed in June.

Fifty-nine percent (59%) of all voters oppose the Dream Act concept. Republicans oppose it by a 5-to-1 margin and unaffiliateds are opposed by a 3-to-1 margin. Democrats are a bit more evenly divided—49% opposed and 31% in favor—but Nancy Pelosi’s party certainly doesn’t provide a base of support for the Dream Act.