Four debates and nobody talked about immigration?!

I watched all four . . . Perhaps something has slipped my mind, or I was in the restroom at a crucial moment, but I cannot recall any of the candidates discussing, nor being asked any questions about, immigration – one of the most divisive and intractable issues of the last eight years and more, and something a lot of Americans would give great weight in deciding who to vote for. Nor have I heard them even mention it on the campaign trail or in campaign ads. Why not?

maybe the candidates and the american people believe there are (much) more important issues facing the country and the world right now.

I think it’s because it’s not something a lot of Americans would give great weight in deciding who to vote for. In some areas I’m sure it is, but the debates speak to the entire country, not all of which cares. I mean, here in Idaho, as long as we have our mexican immigrants (illegal?) available to pick our crops, we don’t even spare a thought about immigration.

It might’ve ending up being one of the questions that was supposed to be asked towards the end, but got cut due to time constraints.

Because of financial conditions, we will have to put up fences to keep them in.


Anyways, do McCain and Obama disagree on immigration?


Because white people don’t care about this at the moment. We like some dark skin fellow picking the vegetables and manicuring our lawns. Better them than me and I’m being serious here.

Right now at this moment many people are worried about their 401k’s. Not somebody who is probably working for less than minimum wage and quite possibly still doing better than the country they have come from.

Forgive me. I just got my statement today. I’ll probably have to work until I’m dead.

McCain on immigration.

Obama on immigration.

Decide for yourself.

I suppose it’s possible that immigration (illegal or otherwise) is not as important a subject to most of the American people as the Tom Tancredo’s of the world would have us believe.

But it has been front-page material at several periods during the last eight years. And Lou Dobbs never stops harping on it on his CNN show. So how did it slip off the front page at this of all times?

Immigration is a hot potato, but not as hot as the other potatoes of the moment.

Also, I suspect that the fact that more undocumented people are leaving the U.S. than entering because of the economic situation may have something to do with it as well.

I could easily have missed something, but I don’t see where that document says that.

“There were 11.9 million unauthorized immigrants living in the United States in March 2008, according to new Pew Hispanic Center estimates. The size of the unauthorized population appears to have declined since 2007, but this finding is inconclusive because of the margin of error in these estimates.
However, it is clear from the estimates that the unauthorized immigrant population grew more slowly in the period from 2005 to 2008 than it did earlier in the decade.”

The rate of unauthorized immigration is slowing and the total number may have decreased, but whether that’s due to economic conditions, increased enforcement, or other reasons isn’t clear.

I believe most of the discussion a couple of years ago concerned not immigration as such, but the presence of large numbers of illegal immigrants and what to do about that. It was a hot topic because Bush and the Senate tried to push through an extremely unpopular bill that would have eventually legalized millions of illegal entrants, and it got people’s bile up. The bill went down and most people figured that was that. And the issue probably will go away, because in this economy, reviving any kind of regularization or amnesty is a political impossibility, and illegal immigrants are tending to go home as has been stated above.

My opinion? Because there wasn’t anything more interesting going on at the moment. As soon as anything else more important comes along, it falls off the radar. And Dobbs is an idiot.

Seems to me that Obama, McCain and the liberal media (not all the media… just the liberal media) are all to the left of most Americans.

Especially when it comes to those already here illegally.

So why would any of those metioned want to bring it up?

:dubious: Even with the “Seems to me” qualifier, that is the sort of highly dubious assertion for which a cite is extremely necessary.

The “liberal media,” BTW, includes Air America Radio and Democracy Now! and The Nation and In These Times and Mother Jones. It does not include CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times or the Washington Post. And that is the sort of assertion for which I should hope no cite is necessary. One sees the difference?

Immigration reform was a pretty big issue in the Republican primaries, and you could say it almost killed McCain’s candidacy. Since then, I think it’s taken a back seat to other issues. The economy is overwhelming everything. Immigration stirs up passions for a lot of people, but many of those people may be acknowledging that there is no practical solution. Perhaps it’ll come back as a wedge issue for 2010.


  1. It’s just not that imporant. Most ordinary Americans simply don’t care enough about it. The only time it’s ever front page material is when there isn’t much else to run.

It’s anecdotal, but I’ve done work in a lot of places in southern California, Arizona, and New Mexico. I’ve never met anyone there who really gave much of a shit about Mexican immigration, or if they did, had the attitude of “But the work is here.” I suspect (and I admit I am offering no cite here) that immigration is one of those small-but-loud issues where a tiny minority of the voters are really, really upset about it, while the majority of voters couldn’t care less.

  1. In the specific case of Dobbs, his opinions (and those of those like him) don’t have any purchase in either the Republican or Democratic parties. Dobbs is a hard core protectionist who’d wall the country off to both people and goods. Since it’s a stupid idea and no economic advisor to either McCain or Obama would support it, it’s just not going to be an issue of dispute. McCain is a firm free trader; Obama makes mild noises about outsourcing and NAFTA but in power will probably accede to logic. Neither is even close to Lou Dobbs.

The sad truth is they that the two parties have have on unspoken agreement to not bring it up. One wants to keep a steady supply of cheap labor, the other sees every illegal as a potential eventual voter for their side. Since the y both understand that the people don’t agree with either of their plans, they’re perfectly happy to keep silent on the issue.