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GOP rivals spar on immigration

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by zrinkill, Aug 15, 2007.

  1. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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    They debate border control, sanctuary cities

    By Brian C. Mooney, Globe Staff | August 15, 2007
    The campaigns of rival Republican presidential candidates Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney yesterday stepped up their efforts to out-tough each other on the issue of illegal immigration.

    Reacting to Romney's repeated characterizations of New York City as a sanctuary for illegal immigrants during Giuliani's term, Giuliani's campaign fired back yesterday, questioning why Romney, as governor, never tried to crack down on Cambridge and Somerville, two Massachusetts cities that called themselves sanctuaries for illegal immigrants, while he was in office.Romney's camp, which has zeroed in on Giuliani's pro-immigrant policies as a potential soft spot, dismissed the charge as a red herring and challenged Giuliani to "explain or disavow these city sanctuary policies."

    During stops in South Carolina yesterday, Giuliani reiterated his plan for tight border controls, including a 700-mile fence, another 1,200 miles of "technological fence," a tamper-proof identification card, and a database that would be used to track all non-citizens.

    "I promise you, we can end illegal immigration," he told a group at a local community center in Aiken, S.C., according to the Associated Press. Giuliani has consistently framed immigration as a security issue first and has had less to say about what he would do about the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants now in the United States.

    While mayor, Giuliani was a strong defender, publicly and in the courts, of an executive order, promulgated by his predecessor Ed Koch in 1989, that prohibited city agencies from providing federal authorities with the immigration status of residents seeking city services unless there was evidence of criminal activity.

    New York does not call itself a sanctuary, but Giuliani, as a presidential candidate, has come under fire for his comments regarding illegal immigrants while mayor, particularly at a 1994 press conference when he said: "If you come here and you work hard and you happen to be in an undocumented status, you're one of the people who we want in this city. You're somebody that we want to protect, and we want you to get out from under what is often a life of being like a fugitive, which is really unfair."

    At the same time, Giuliani was also highly critical of federal immigration authorities who he said failed to deport all of the illegal immigrants guilty of criminal activity who were referred to them by the city.

    In response to Romney's criticisms in recent days, Giuliani senior adviser Jim Dyke yesterday tried to turn the tables on Romney, who was campaigning in Oklahoma and Texas.

    "Why should the American people believe Governor Romney has the right kind of executive experience for America when he claims he was powerless to take action against the three sanctuary cities in Massachusetts who refused to enforce illegal immigration laws?" the statement said. "If there were 'statutes' or 'formulas' standing in Romney's way, then why didn't he take action to change them?"

    He was referring to the Massachusetts cities of Cambridge, Somerville, and Orleans, which to varying degrees had declared themselves sanctuaries for illegal immigrants. Since 1985, Cambridge has instructed city officials not to involve themselves in enforcement of federal immigration laws.

    Kevin Madden, Romney press secretary, said the Dykes remark had "zero substance and contains no effective rebuttal. The refusal to either explain or disavow these sanctuary-city policies informs the voter of exactly where Mayor Giuliani stands on the issue of enforcement of immigration laws."

    At a campaign stop on Monday at San Ysidro, Calif., near the US-Mexican border, Romney repeated his call "to shut down the magnet of these sanctuary cities -- of these cities that call themselves a zone for protection where their city workers and other agencies are providing cover for those who are here illegally," the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. Romney, who has mentioned New York and Giuliani in the past, did not name either on Monday. He said that as president he would cut off federal funds to sanctuary cities, but did not respond directly to a question about his response to Cambridge's status, the newspaper said.

    As governor, Romney never directly addressed the issue of sanctuary cities. His strongest stand on illegal immigration resulted in a successful veto of tuition discounts at state colleges for illegal immigrants.

    Regarding sanctuary cities, Madden said yesterday: "Governor Romney worked out an agreement with the federal government to deputize state troopers to enforce immigration laws in Massachusetts, in an effort to negate local sanctuary city policies and the lax enforcement of existing laws. Unfortunately, localities like Cambridge and New York City enact these sanctuary city policies in defiance of federal immigration laws, not state laws."

    That state trooper initiative, signed by Romney three weeks before leaving office, was largely ridiculed as grandstanding by critics who said he was burnishing his conservative credentials for a presidential run. The troopers never underwent training by the federal government, and Governor Deval Patrick, the Democrat who succeeded him, rescinded the agreement a week after taking office.
  2. jterrell

    jterrell Penguinite

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    The AP version.

    Testy exchanges show Romney, Giuliani vulnerable on immigration

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Mitt Romney accuses former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani of making his city a haven for illegal immigrants. Giuliani denies it, insisting he cracked down on lawlessness of every kind.

    As mayor, Rudy Giuliani fought in court to keep New York City as a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants.

    It's the first real clash between two high-profile Republican candidates who are vulnerable on immigration, a volatile issue that infuriates Republican conservatives who hold sway over primary elections.

    At issue are so-called sanctuary cities, places where city employees are not required to report illegal immigrants to federal authorities. Some, such as San Francisco, California, have declared themselves sanctuaries or refuges. Others, like New York, have never adopted the "sanctuary" moniker.

    New York's policy, issued by Democratic Mayor Ed Koch in 1988, is intended to make illegal immigrants feel that they can report crimes, send their children to school or seek medical treatment without fear of being reported.

    An estimated half-million illegal and undocumented immigrants live in New York, and only a fraction are deported each year.

    "What's the best thing to do about that?" Giuliani asked in 1996. "Put them in a situation in which they keep children out of school? Put them in a situation in which they don't go to hospitals? Or put them in a situation in which they don't report crimes to the police?"

    Giuliani went to court to preserve the policy, suing over a 1996 attempt by Congress to undo the city's protections. He lost, but Mayor Mike Bloomberg later issued a new, broader version of the policy that is still in effect.

    In the presidential campaign, Giuliani and Romney are talking tough on immigration, even opposing the bipartisan immigration overhaul backed by President Bush. Yet their records are not necessarily tough. For example:

    --Several illegal immigrants worked on Romney's lawn as employees of a lawn care company; Romney said he didn't know the company had hired illegal workers.

    --As mayor, Giuliani often spoke positively about illegal immigrants: "If you come here, and you work hard, and you happen to be in an undocumented status, you're one of the people who we want in this city," he told The New York Times in 1994.

    --Both Romney and Giuliani spoke favorably of 2006 legislation providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants; they opposed a similar bill earlier this year.

    Immigration inflames conservatives in early voting states such as Iowa and South Carolina, where some argue that illegal immigrants are straining schools and hospitals, lowering wages or taking jobs from law-abiding citizens.

    In Aiken, South Carolina, on Tuesday, Giuliani repeated a pledge to closely track immigrants with tamperproof identity cards, bolster fencing and law enforcement at the border and deport illegal immigrants who commit crimes.

    Romney, inspecting border fencing and checkpoints Monday in San Diego, California, reiterated his plan to hire more Border Patrol agents, sanction employers who hire illegal immigrants and cut federal dollars for sanctuary cities.

    Romney blames "don't tell" policies, and Giuliani's support for them, for luring millions of illegal immigrants to the United States.

    "New York City was the poster child for sanctuary cities in the country," Romney said last week in Bettendorf, Iowa.

    Giuliani's defense is that he cracked down on all crimes, including illegal immigration. "New York City had the least amount of illegality per capita of any major city in the country, and I brought that change about," he said last week in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

    And his campaign accused Romney of hypocrisy, pointing out that as governor of Massachusetts, Romney did not try to punish sanctuary cities -- Cambridge, Orleans and Somerville -- in his own state.

    "He had three sanctuary cities in his own state," longtime Giuliani aide Randy Mastro said. "The New York City program was very different. We had a system that protected public safety by encouraging aliens to come forward to the authorities to report crimes, and then required authorities to cooperate in the investigation and prosecution of aliens who committed crimes."

    Romney says he tried to curtail the problem by deputizing state police to enforce federal immigration laws.

    "It was exactly in response to the fact that immigration laws were not being enforced," spokesman Kevin Madden said. "It was also in conjunction with his belief that enforcement has to be a joint state and federal effort."
  3. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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    I hate the Illigal immigration problem because there is no easy answer.

    Many many of those people are trying to escape crime, tyranny, and poverty ..... isn't that what this country was built on?

    But in coming over here illegally they are putting a huge strain on our economy and putting us in a huge terror risk.

    Massive pressure needs to be put on Mexico to improve their country for their own people.
  4. Eric_Boyer

    Eric_Boyer Well-Known Member

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    Guliani sued the federal government so that he could continue ignoring the illegal alien situation in his city. He made it illegal for city workers to turn in known illegals.

    Infact, The top tier in both parties aren't going to solve immigration. Special interests don't want a solution, and that is who their loyaly lies with.
  5. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods

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    I always thought that this was a false assumption, that they in fact contribute more wealth to the system through their cheap labor and consumption than they take out. Don't have time to find an article though.
  6. trickblue

    trickblue Old Testament... Zone Supporter

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    and the cost of educating their children and free health care puts the strain on the middle class...
  7. jterrell

    jterrell Penguinite

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    To me this really should be a bigger issue but Repubs don't want to alienate big business by cracking down on the cheap labor force and Dems don't wanna alienate the hispanic voting base. Both sides suck on this issue as Eric mentions above.

    I don't think it is that tough to solve if both parties sack up and tackle the issue instead of hiding from it or condoning it.

    NYC employs many illegals. MANY. It is a cheap labor force and was a huge tool for Rudy in fighting crime. He just took would be criminals and gave them city jobs. On one hand a practical solution. On the other how many actual Americans got screwed?

    Is it that difficult to provide a legit path to citizenship for those who are gainfully employed, law abiding, provide finger prints, and pass the citizenship test while making punishments for those who are actually illegal mean more than costing them a bus ride from the border back to their current homes?

    Could we not simply revoke citizenship within 3 years for any felony conviction?

    Could we actually punish those are making money off these poor saps by skirting the legal system and paying them less to improve profits while their customers pay the medical, education and other costs of their children?
  8. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods

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    You don't think that what's putting a "strain" on the middle class is the fact that our budget priorities are completely out of whack, like that we only allocate 4% to education and 21% (more than the entire world combined) on military?
  9. jterrell

    jterrell Penguinite

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    Thats simply not true but is a ******** trickle-down ideal.
    Its basic math. They send money back to Mexico same as the H1Bs do to India and wherever else.
    Thus they earn less but send that money off elsewhere. OUR money.
    And the Middle Class pays the bills for their children's education.

    We spend more money than we make precisely because we spend our money elsewhere. Our corporations our funneling money overseas via non-citizen work forces as well as non-US manufacturing and parts. But they still sell most all good/services to us here in the US. (How much support do we each pay for that comes in the form of a Pakistani reading off a script calling himself John?)

    Its no different than a household budget.
    If you spend more than you make you'll end up debt.

    The US is in horrid debt.
  10. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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    Totally agree.
  11. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods

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    ******** is a bit harsh. No one denies that in certain regions illegal immigrants put a tremendous strain on public resources but it is also a fact that they contribute to our GNP through cheap labor, purchasing goods, and many contribute to social security and the like though they will never be able to collect their benefits down the road.

    The fact is that the economic impact of illegal immigration is difficult to assess one way or another, and anyone suggesting that it's an open and shut case is probably selling you a bunch of goods.

  12. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Bad Santa Staff Member

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    I have never understood the Sanctuary City idea.

    It is one thing if you don't have the man power to go out and round up the illegal aliens or go after the businesses that hire them.

    It is another thing if you arrest an illegal for a crime and don't deport them.

    Now one could say...BP that is not part of the idea, the idea is to not ask the status of someone.

    However I say if they do not have proper ID than you should be able to ask.

    One other thing of note...Washington, DC is a Sanctuary City if I have heard correctly. Kind of odd for any politician to argue against Sanctuary Cities if they can not even make it happen in the Capital City. Yes I realize most on the hill are for their own states but you get the point.
  13. trickblue

    trickblue Old Testament... Zone Supporter

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    That's cherry-picking two issues...

    The problem is that SS goes into the General Fund and is not earmarked towards SS...

    This gives our congress a fraudulent free check with which they subsidize all sorts of programs we don't need or want.

    The US government shouldn't be in the education business anyway. It's a cash cow...

    To say that offering free education and free health care to those not contributing to our tax base doesn't put a strain on the middle class is just plain wrong.

    I would rather my money go to strengthening our military than I would to those whelching off of our system.

    Free education doesn't even take into account the fact that good teachers are being overlooked for less qualified teachers that happen to be bilingual. We shouldn't be teaching children in another language anyway.

    Now the democrats want to provide amnesty AND start national health care. All these are precursors to the fact that they want to raise taxes to spend on their social programs and pet projects...
  14. jterrell

    jterrell Penguinite

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    By ******** I mean: 1. To keep delaying; to continue to hinder; to prevent from progress; to render more slow in progress; to impede; to hinder; as, to ****** the march of an army; to ****** the motion of a ship; -- opposed to accelerate.

    Essentially the trickle down stuff you will read about in their effect on the GNP does not account for the hemorrhaging of money we see in the trade deficit. We are outlaying more money then we take in which is a basic, basic concept we have ignored under Repubs since Reagen and has driven our national deficit to mind-boggling heights.

    But that trickle-down concept "hinders, delays, prevents" us from attacking the problem of illegal immigrants.

    The only guarantee of benefit is to those being allowed to be here and those directly benefiting by hiring them at much lower pay.
  15. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods

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    Why would you rather spend money on the military than education? What sort of benefits do you think we derive from military spending that we wouldn't from educating our population and educating the children of immigrants so that they become functional and productive citizens?

    Why does "throwing the money at the problem accomplishes nothing" only apply to issues like education but not the military? The money we're burning in Iraq doesn't appear to be yielding much of a return for our investment, not to mention the well-known fact that the Pentagon is probably the most wasteful department in the entire government with the worst accounting procedures.

    I think it's very telling that a significant portion of our population thinks that public funds are better spent on warfare than nurturing and investing in people.
  16. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods

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    I'm trying to follow you here. Keep going ... what's the precise correlation between illegal immigration and our trade deficit?
  17. trickblue

    trickblue Old Testament... Zone Supporter

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    As I stated earlier, it's a moot point with me as the government shouldn't be involved in education anyway imo.

    I also never said that "throwing the money at the problem accomplishes nothing" only apply to issues like education but not the military?

    I said I would rather my tax money go to the military than educating illegal immigrants in this country...
  18. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Bad Santa Staff Member

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    It seems it already is going to the military instead of education...whether that be for legal citizens or illegal aliens.:(
  19. jterrell

    jterrell Penguinite

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    I agree with a large part of what you say here but would defend the Dems to some extent.

    Not shocking as a Dem of course....

    The Repub plan has been to keep taxes low, allow our debt to spiral out of control and continue to provide free education for illegal aliens who cut our yards for cheap and work construction for cheap and every other kind of cheap job. The official Bush take was that Americans just didn't want those jobs... i.e. Americans don't want those jobs at 4.50 an hour so we need our illegals or we'll be forced as big businessmen to fly first class but not have a private jet....

    Healthcare and education SHOULD be universal. It can't until we fix our immigration issues and clean up messes made by current systems but our country actually experienced a financial windfall when we shifted a lot of money from the military to the private sector.

    One of the measures being discussed that intrigues me is military service in exchange for citizenship.

    Take illegal aliens and allow them to shift their cheap labor source over to our military who would then train and feed and clothe them. They'd come out as a trained, tax-paying, English speaking citizen who was actually in vested in our country.

    Education is not a financial windfall in and of itself in lower income areas. In most upper middle class areas where lots of external revenue is brought in via sports teams and various fund raisers it can certainly be a huge cache of financial resources.

    Right now alot of money is tied up in getting the only spanish-speaking kids of illegal aliens to pass the standardized tests that keep federal funding going.

    Reforming the immigration laws would handle a great deal of this.
  20. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods

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    Point one--okay, it's just something you believe. But given what we know about budget expenditures, the military is undeniably more of a cash cow than education.

    Point two--my misunderstanding. When you accused Democrats of wanting to "raise taxes to spend on their social programs and pet projects" it sounded like the old "throwing money at the problem" argument. I'll try not to editorialize your comments in the future.

    Point three--your wish has already come true. :)

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