Friday, February 19, 2016

Clinton and Sanders on immigration

Clinton's Latino Congressional surrogates -- Luis Gutierrez, Julian Castro, Delores Huerta -- are doing her dirty work this week in Nevada.  When I first read the accusations against Bernie, dug out of the ten-year-old archives of Senate voting records, it sounded pretty harsh.

On a call with reporters Thursday organized by the Clinton campaign, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, and civil rights organizer Dolores Huerta slammed Sanders' record on immigration, particularly his vote against the failed 2007 immigration reform bill. 
"He really set us back, you might say, a decade by not supporting us on the immigration bill in 2007," said Huerta, a who led the United Farm Workers alongside Cesar Chavez in the 1960s. "His reputation as being a super liberal, many people followed his guide on that. That was just a devastating blow for all of us who were fighting for immigration reform and for immigrants' rights." 
Gutierrez stressed the 2007 vote as well as the fact that Sanders appeared on the television show hosted by Lou Dobbs—a prominent anti-immigration hardliner. "In 2007, when there was a way forward…he stood with the Republicans and went on Lou Dobbs' program," said Gutierrez. 
Sanders was one of several liberal senators who opposed the bill. Some labor unions opposed it, as well. At the time, Sanders described the bill as a threat to wages for American workers. More recently, he has justified his opposition to it by citing the bill's guest worker provisions, which have been described as exploitative. Sanders has repeatedly pointed to a Southern Poverty Law Center report that said the working conditions in those programs would be similar to slavery.

    More recent statements by Sanders provide a clearer picture. This Politico article describes the relationship as 'complicated'.

    For all his rhetoric in 2007, Sanders didn’t oppose a pathway to citizenship or efforts to boost border security. That chapter in Sanders’ immigration record reflects less on his support for the issue and more on his alliance to labor — and key unions also opposed the 2007 legislation.

    “Sanders was basically one of our only allies … especially for low-skilled workers” in 2007, said Ana Avendano, a former top immigration official at the AFL-CIO. “He adamantly put his foot down and said these kinds of programs [allow] employers to bring in more and more vulnerable workers.” 

    In fact, many immigration activists were themselves conflicted over the legislation.  To her credit, Clinton has promised to be a better advocate for immigrant families than the night-time raider Obama ... though that hasn't been her recent position.

    When reporters asked about Clinton's record—and specifically about her recent support for sending immigrant children who fled violence in Central America back to their home countries—Castro repeated his belief that Clinton would be most likely to actually move forward on immigration reform if elected president. Sanders brought up this issue during the last Democratic debate and argued that the child migrants should be allowed to stay in the United States. 

    Are the accusations made by Clinton's surrogates similar to Bernie's calling Clinton out for her 15-year-old Iraq war vote (for which she has now apologized)?  Are these John Kerry-styled "I voted against it before I voted for it" flip-flops by both candidates?  With respect to "sending the children back", is Clinton criticizing the president, of the kind she has attacked Sanders over?

    What's true and what's campaign bluster seems to be in the eye of the beholder.  Stace had a good post six months ago about this.  It seems we're still not having the right conversation about the many complicated facets of US immigration policy.

    Update: If you needed additional role reversal, then Clinton is cast as the idealist and Sanders the pragmatist as a result of the exchange in last night's town hall.

    Update II: Ted being shallow and awful again.


    Gadfly said...

    Immigration is a tough issue indeed. And, it not only can't be separated from U.S. labor issues, it also can't be separated from trade issues, either. And, that, of course means that Hillary Clinton is no idealist.

    But, on the labor issue, it's more than just "job-stealing." It's applying OSHA and other workforce regs to seasonal agriculture labor, that aren't now.

    And, in Latin America, it's an issue of U.S. political candidates more directly challenging Francis the Talking Pope on birth control.

    It's also discussing ... well, the Democratic-orchestrated coup in Honduras, as well as the GOP-backed wingnuts in Guatemala and El Salvador. All part of those foreign policy issues that no MSM debate or town hall is asking of either party's candidates.

    That's just for starters.

    meme said...

    I love simple solutions for complicated problems, why not just have laws that limit one child per couple across the world. That will solve all those immigration problems, of course violence, abuse, fear have nothing to do with things of that sort. Wars would not make people leave their nation, just get birth control and it will solve the problem.

    Simple solutions come from simple thinking. If life were only so simple.

    Not sure which side pushes as much hate the right or the left?

    PDiddie said...

    Isn't that what the Chinese do, Manny?

    You're not a Communist, are you?

    Maybe we could just eliminate the tax deductions for children... and replace them with tax penalties for people like Antonin Scalia, whose nine children and 36 grandchildren are surely burdening the rest of us in some way.

    Or perhaps we could tax the Catholic Church, which opposes contraception (unless you're at risk of contracting Zika, thank you Pope Francis).

    But I don't think those things are ever going to make President Sanders' list of priorities... even if he serves two terms.

    meme said...

    Chinese now allow two children as it seems that one is making the population heavy on the old side. Japan has done that voluntarily for a while and they have a youth worker problem. But for immigration the United States would be much lower in population as it seems that Americans have forgotten how to breed.

    There are easy solutions to the population problem, but the problem is that it involves doing not so nice things.

    Catholic church allows one to use natural means to limit the number of children, one is sex only for reproduction, assuming that men or women are capable of controlling that urge. Maybe we are just not far enough away from our animalistic behaviors? Can't say no to sex, wonder if that would be a defense to rape?