In the run-up to the State of the Union, what with all of the other madness going on, it was easy to let some of the less “hair on fire” stories fall through the cracks, but there is still an undercurrent of unrest in the Democrat primary. It’s becoming something of a popcorn event to watch Hillary Clinton continue to try to get to the left of Bernie Sanders as one poll after another shows that she might actually have a fight on her hands. (Well… at least in the first two states anyway.)
That battle swung back to the immigration front on Monday. The President, to his credit, has had ICE executing some raids to round up illegal immigrants and deport them over the past couple of weeks and that’s got his base up in arms. Bernie Sanders and others were quick to send written notices to Barack Obama, letting him know that enforcing our immigration laws is not what the Democrat Party is about and that he needs to stop them post haste. Never one to be left out in the cold these days, Hillary Clinton jumped on the bandwagon. (Washington Post)
Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton on Monday stepped up criticism of the Obama administration’s new policy of rounding up and deporting families who entered the United States illegally, joining her two rivals for the Democratic nomination who had previously done so.
“I do not think the raids are an appropriate tool to enforce the immigration laws. In fact, I think they are divisive. They are sowing discord and fear,” Clinton said at the Iowa Brown & Black Forum. She added that immigration enforcement “has to be done individually by individually,” and not through “mass raids.”
I’m not sure what “individually by individually” means in this context, but she was clearly hot under the collar. While she was saying that, her campaign released a more firm rebuke for media consumption.
“Our immigration enforcement efforts should be humane and conducted in accordance with due process, and that is why I believe we must stop the raids happening in immigrant communities,” Clinton said in the campaign’s written statement. “We have laws and we must be guided by those laws, but we shouldn’t have armed federal officers showing up at peoples’ homes, taking women and children out of their beds in the middle of the night. The raids have sown fear and division in immigrant communities across the country. People are afraid to go to work. They are afraid to send their kids to school. They are afraid to go to the hospital, or even the grocery store.”
Given the current temperature of the public when it comes to border jumping and the issues we’ve run into of late, I certainly hope that the candidates on the Democrat side keep pushing each other further and further in this direction. This is one of the first times that we’ve seen Bernie really shove Hillary Clinton that far to the left. The fact is that these raids were long overdue and there was nobody “terrorizing” the immigrant community if you’re talking about legal immigrants. Anyone here legally with the proper documentation had absolutely nothing to worry about.
As to the actual targets of the raid, they should be worried. Clinton is fretting over armed federal officers showing up and taking people away. Does she have an alternate suggestion? Perhaps a strongly worded letter? (That should get them all out of the country. Why didn’t we think of that before?) She’s also claiming that people are afraid to go to work or to send their kids to school. That’s some great populist blather to satisfy the base, but it’s also complete nonsense. If you are in the country illegally you’re not supposed to be going to work. And if your kids are actually citizens they have nothing to fear in terms of going to school. They’ll be fine.
This is some Olympic level pandering to the minority vote and perhaps it will help out Clinton in her primary race. But whoever the eventual GOP nominee winds up being, they should keep that quote in their pocket for the debates in the general election this fall.