Thursday, February 14, 2008

Rasmussen shows a tight race in Wisconsin and a strong Clinton lead in Ohio:

Wisconsin (Feb 13, 855 LV)
Obama 47
Clinton 43
Undecided 10

Ohio (Feb 13, 754 LV)
Clinton 51
Obama 37
Undecided 12

Quinnipiac also shows leads for Clinton in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Clinton seems to be contesting Wisconsin, which is probably a good strategy for her. I don't know what her internal polls are saying, but public polls seem to suggest that she could prevent another Obama blowout in Wisconsin. She could even be close enough to possibly win there. She'd probably be in better condition heading into the March 4 primaries as a Wisconsin victor. Obama's widely expected to win Hawaii next Tuesday, so a Clinton loss in Wisconsin would give Obama a 10-primary winning streak.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

While this Wisconsin poll doesn't have such good news for Hillary Clinton in her nomination fight against Barack Obama, this Ohio poll has much more promising numbers for Clinton, giving her a 17-point overall lead. Though she is tied with Obama among men, she has nearly a 30-point lead among women. She leads Obama in all age categories and only lags six points behind him with independents (42%-48%); she has a 21-point lead among Ohio Democrats.

Monday, February 11, 2008

State laws punishing the employers of "illegal immigrants" seem to be very effective at encouraging "illegal immigrants" to leave the state--whether for their native countries or other, more "undocumented"-friendly states. In Oklahoma and Arizona, two states which have passed employer-enforcement laws, the "undocumented" seem to be leaving in large numbers. For example, in two Oklahoma cities:
In Tulsa, Okla., the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has estimated that 15,000 to 25,000 illegal immigrants have left the area. One builder estimated that 30 percent of the Hispanic work force left Tulsa.

"There's been a tremendous impact in Oklahoma City," said David Castillo, the executive director of the Greater Oklahoma City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. "We've had several companies close shop and leave the state. Banks have called us and say they're closing 30 accounts per week."

Arizona also seems to be experiencing an outflow of the "undocumented."

Where are they going? Maybe Texas:

Texas' reputation as a welcoming destination has experts predicting more immigrants will come to Houston and other cities in the state. Texas has not passed any statewide law targeting the employment of undocumented workers.

"Texas is still very much an entrepreneurial place, where you can find your place in this economy," said James Hollifield, a Southern Methodist University professor and migration expert. "It's not an immigrant's paradise, but if you work hard and keep your head down you can get ahead."

Ortiz, a native of southern Mexican state of Tabasco, said he left Phoenix eight months ago working 60 to 70 hours a week as a nursery worker. While now he can only pick up two to three days a week of yardwork and barely earns enough to send back to his family, he prefers to be in Texas.

"Here, they let you work. Over there, they won't. There is a lot of racism, but here there isn't -- it's better," Ortiz said of Houston.

Another comprehensive try: I don't have too many details on this, but Roll Call's reporting (behind subscription wall) that top House Democrats are planning on putting forward a "scaled-down" attempt at immigration "reform." It seems to be moving along (e.a.):

It says that Hispanic members — including Rep. Joe Baca — are seeking five-year visas for illegal immigrants who pay fines and pass criminal background checks. Baca, a California Democrat chairs the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Baca said the prospects for a compromise package were discussed in high-level meetings that included Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel, and Rep. Zoe Lofgren, who chairs a key immigration subcommittee, Roll Call said.

The paper added: “It’s unclear if the behind-the-scenes discussions will actually result in a bill coming to the floor, but Democrats say drafts of legislation already have been written and are being vetted behind the scenes.

(H/T Hot Air)
These rumors also emphasize the importance of Congress in discussions over immigration law and legislative battles in general. The presidential race gets the most centralized media coverage, but Congressional races matter quite a lot, too.

UPDATE: Brian Faughnan suggests that this 5-year legalization may be paired with Heath Shuler (D-NC)'s enforcement-minded SAVE bill. House Republicans, he says, are resistant to any measure that could be read as "amnesty."
The Pew Research Center has released a new report on the effects of immigration upon national demographics. It reports that in 2050, under current immigration rates, 19% of the total US population will be immigrants, well above the "historic peaks for immigrants as a share of U.S. population" (nearly 15% in 1890 and 1910). It also includes some demographic models for the US in 2050 if the immigration rate increases or decreases.
A bill punishing businesses for hiring the "undocumented" (Senate Bill 335) has passed the Indiana state Senate:
Perhaps the night’s most passionate argument came from Sen. Brent Steele, who blasted lobbyists for suggesting that Indiana’s economy would suffer if the state’s estimated 85,000 illegal workers were not available to work in fields, on construction sites and at restaurants.

Steele, R-Bedford, said that sounds as if it’s OK to overlook lawbreakers for the sake of profit.

“What are we saying ... to our kids?” Steele asked. “It would be the same as saying to our kids that it’s OK to sell drugs as long as you make a profit.”

As for complaints that some businesses would not be able to survive without illegal workers, Steele said: “I don’t want those kinds of businesses in my state.”

Senate Bill 335 in its present form would allow the attorney general’s office and local prosecutors to investigate written complaints against businesses accused of hiring illegal immigrants. Employers found to have violated the law face a three-tier punishment system: warning, suspension and revocation of its license to operate.
It passed 37-11 in the Senate. It will next be voted on by the Indiana House. The bill's author says that the bill is about human rights.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A federal judge upholds Arizona's new immigration-enforcement laws. Opponents of the law are appealing. Next stop: the 9th Circuit.