Political chatter from DC and NYC, the amNewYork way

Immigration should be top priority

By Matt

This election season, immigration is the most important issue to me because though important in and of itself, it also touches on other significant issues like homeland security, the economy, and respect for the law. The candidates’ respective positions on immigration indirectly reflect broader governing principles that they will bring to bear in other policy areas.

Aside from devising new legal solutions to the problem of illegal immigration, one of the country’s most pressing policy concerns is how to enforce existing laws against those who enter the country illegally and those who employ them. The problem of illegal aliens within the United States appears to be an intractable one. Yet while there may be manifest difficulties in dealing with the illegal immigrant population currently here, each of the candidates has offered what they consider to be practical, realistic solutions to this part of the immigration problem. Similarly, each has spoken out about the necessity of securing the border not only to stem the flow of illegal entrants, but also to prevent terrorists from entering the country. The presence of vast numbers of undocumented aliens also raises questions about education, health care and the economy. For instance, if economic conditions continue to worsen, and more Americans become unemployed, will the average American still spurn the chance to work in the manual labor and service positions often held by illegal immigrants? Immigration thus touches on a variety of domestic and foreign policy concerns. As the election plays out, particularly if the economy continues to worsen, it will be interesting to see how much attention each candidate pays to the issue and how they frame their solutions to it.

Rather than discuss which candidate’s views on the issue I prefer, I thought I’d provide links to each candidate’s Web site so that the readers can inform themselves on the issue. So, here’s the McCain, Clinton and Obama take on the issue. I’ll follow up soon with my thoughts on whose policy is the most promising and responsive.

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