A commenter to my previous post on the Sarah Palin selection brought up a very good question - where in hell does Sarah Palin stand on immigration? Complicating this question is the absolute lack of information on the Web revealing any previous public statements about immigration made by Governor Palin.
However, I found just enough related information which, linked to some logical conjecture, permits me to make a reasonably educated guess as to Sarah Palin's position on immigration. Here goes:
"Sarah Palin most likely supports more vigorous and consistent enforcement of immigration laws. She may support some minor adjustments and restrictions on legal immigration. However, it is also possible that Governor Palin also might tolerate a limited "path to citizenship" for the most "productive" illegals (translation: amnesty)."
Here are the facts and conjectures supporting this prognosis. In 1999, during an appearance by Pat Buchanan in Wasilla, Sarah Palin not only was present, but wore a Buchanan button. Pat Buchanan takes a hard line towards immigration - enforcement through attrition, no path to citizenship, serious restrictions on legal immigration, and realignment of immigration patterns away from Third World people. Buchanan is also believed to be a racial populist who, for the sake of demographic and cultural stability, believes America should remain a predominantly white nation. Here's a part of what TheNation.com wrote about this:
...Remember when Pat Buchanan ran a number of hard-right, fringe campaigns for president in the late 1980s, 1990s and 2000? Well, guess who was supporting him:
From an AP report in 1999:
"Pat Buchanan brought his conservative message of a smaller government and an America First foreign policy to Fairbanks and Wasilla on Friday as he continued a campaign swing through Alaska. Buchanan's strong message championing states rights resonated with the roughly 85 people gathered for an Interior Republican luncheon in Fairbanks. … Among those sporting Buchanan buttons were Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin and state Sen. Jerry Ward, R-Anchorage".
Thus it is logical to assume that, at the time, Palin was at least sympathetic towards Buchanan's views, even if she made no public statements affirming it. One does NOT wear a candidate's campaign button unless one fundamentally agrees with the candidate. However, we must remember that this took place in 1999. It is quite possible for a person to change a political worldview with the passage of time.
The next step is to examine John McCain's most current views on immigration. To do this, we visit his official campaign website and view his Border Security page. McCain has a two-step program for immigration reform:
- Securing Our Borders First: This includes the erection and strengthening of physical and virtual barriers, and optimization of funding for enforcement.
- Comprehensive Immigration Initiatives For A Secure Nation: This includes applying more pressure to employers to check the bonafides of job applicants, reform of the H-1B program, a guest worker program, and yes, a path to citizenship for "productive" illegals.
So John McCain talks a good game on immigration, but actions speak louder than words. And one of those actions which clearly fly in the face of his "tough talk" took place in November 2007 when McCain hired a dual citizen American-Mexican, Juan Hernandez, a former member of Mexican President Vicente Fox's cabinet, to be his campaign's Hispanic Outreach Director (story originally published by WorldNetDaily). Hernandez, by his own words, wants Mexican-Americans to think of themselves as Mexicans FIRST. Here's a YouTube clip:
Obviously, Sarah Palin can neither be held responsible for McCain's border security platform nor for the presence of a dual citizen on McCain's staff. But would Sarah Palin have agreed to become John McCain's running mate if she viscerally disagreed with McCain's positions on immigration? Unlikely, and this is why I believe that, at the very least, she would be willing to tolerate a "path to citizenship" for "productive" illegals.
However, be aware this is merely conjecture on my part. We should reserve judgment on Sarah Palin's immigration views until she comes out and makes them known. We should neither assume the worst nor the best. One must understand that, because Alaska isn't inundated with illegal Latinos the way our Southwestern states are, Governor Palin had no strong incentive to address immigration. Keep an eye on the new McCain-Palin combined campaign website which is now being ramped up. The OnTheIssues website provides information on Sarah Palin's previous positions on other issues.
Sarah Palin, Buchananite