Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A pro-immigrant president in 2009

One thing that's likeable about McCain is that he's pro-immigrant, no matter what mouth-breathing Republicans think. Here's something he said last December that is, well, eminently reasonable:

"It’s the influx of illegals into places where they’ve never seen a Hispanic influence before," McCain told me. "You probably see more emotion in Iowa than you do in Arizona on this issue. I was in a town in Iowa, and twenty years ago there were no Hispanics in the town. Then a meatpacking facility was opened up. Now twenty per cent of their population is Hispanic. There were senior citizens there who were—‘concerned’ is not the word. They see this as an assault on their culture, what they view as an impact on what have been their traditions in Iowa, in the small towns in Iowa. So you get questions like 'Why do I have to punch 1 for English?' 'Why can’t they speak English?' It’s become larger than just the fact that we need to enforce our borders."

Common sense. Uncommon for a Republican.

While I think McCain is far from honest, he's been pro-diversity long enough that I don't think this is insincere, not least of all because this was the exact moment that such an argument would be most damaging to a speaker -- in the heat of the Republican primary. It seems that no matter how things fall, our next president will be anti-torture and pro-immigrant.

It ain't much, but it's something, I guess...

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