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Voting records of Presidential Contenders document their stance on Immigration

June 20, 2008

The 2008 presidential campaign is different than any other in recent memory. It’s the first in time in 48 years that two sitting Senators are vying for the presidency. It’s difficult for senators to win the post since their voting record on national issues is there for public scrutiny. Since 1968, Americans have elected governors or “outsiders” to the Congress. Now with two clear contenders in the ring for 2008, McCain and Obama’s legislative positions on immigration policies are on display for all to see and debate.

Immigration has been a thorny issue for John McCain. Over the past few months, he seems to be playing both sides of the issue. As co-author of the 2006 “McCain-Kennedy” bill , his primary opponents assailed McCain as being for “amnesty”. To counteract this perception, McCain was often quoted as saying that he would secure the border first before making any other immigration reforms. Now that he’s wrapped up the nomination, the Republican Party is casting him as pro-immigrant. National Public Radio broadcast a story this past week suggesting that Latinos might support McCain because of this. Also this week McCain met with Latino leaders on Wednesday in Chicago. One Latino Republican in attendance was quoted as saying, “He’s one John McCain in front of white Republicans. And he’s a different John McCain in front of Hispanics.”

Obama on the other hand has promised immigration reform during his first 100 days in office. Even so, Latino congressional reps are worried that Obama isn’t doing enough to court Latinos.

There was also news this week that Democrats are playing both sides of the issue by pushing for more funding for strong-arm enforcement measures.

Immigration is one of those “Alice in Wonderland”-type policy issues where normal positions seem to warp and change at random. With the national elections less than five months away, we’re sure to hear a lot more about the issue.

ACTION STEPS: Check out your candidate’s website to see what he says about immigration policy: McCain or Obama . Contact your candidate and tell him what you think of their position: Obama or McCain

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