Immigration rears its head

Obama sidesteps a question from about African
Americans losing jobs to cheap immigrant labor. Obviously here is his cautiousness about scaring off the very voting block he  has been losing to  Clinton. But Clinton steps up the heat, saying the question “deserves an answer.”

She goes against the blanket amnesty called for by some in the Latino community and expresses her opposition to granting drivers’ licenses for illegal immigrants, a policy Obama has supported in the past (again, another attempt by him to pander to the Latino vote).

 She then snatches the question away from Obama, saying she met an African American man who
said he “used to have a lot of construction jobs and now they only go to people 
without documentation. She calls for comprehensive immigration reform, listing some of the standard arguments: tightening borders, cracking down on employers of illegals, helping improve the
economy of
our neighbors down south.

But in a standard balancing act for a politician considered by many as the embodiment of centrist policies, she says that those talking about deporting people,
rounding them up are
living in another
.  She then echoes the “path to citizenship” favored by those straddling the middle on the opposite side of the aisle, namely President Bush and John McCain, saying she would have illegal immigrants come out of the shadows,  pay a fine, learn English and get in line for citizenship, while deporting those with criminal records.

“Once this happens, then we won
t have a labor market that cuts into peoples wages,” she says to applause.  Her handling of the immigration question is  done forcefully and covers all her bases (both the left and centrist of the party ) in classic Clinton style. Obama clearly loses points in this exchange. All we get out of it is that he supports drivers’ licenses for illegals.


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