Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Candidate Review - Illegal Immigration - Bill Richardson

Bill Richardson is, as you might expect, pretty strong on Illegal Immigration. He's Latino and he's the governor of a border state. So he's coming at this with a little experience.
As the Governor of a border state I deal with the effects of immigration, legal and illegal, every day. The federal government has not done enough to solve the problem. In 2005 violent crime, drugs, and crime were out of control along New Mexico's border with Mexico. I took action, declaring a state of emergency along the border, making $1.75 million available to local law enforcement agencies to increase patrols and add personnel. As a result, arrests are up, crime is down, and the flow of undocumented immigrants has slowed. The New Mexico border town of Village of Columbus, for example, saw an 80 percent reduction in crime.

Building a fence will not increase security, just as attempting to deport 12 million illegal immigrants is not feasible or reasonable. I believe a realistic immigration reform plan must address the problem from all sides -- securing the border, penalizing employers for knowingly hiring illegal workers, offering a tough but reasonable path to legalization, engaging Mexico in the reform process, and improving our current immigration quota system.
I'd like to be snarky hear, but really this is the right tone to take. We need to approach this problem sensibly, without pie in the sky promises about magical fences that will keep everybody out. And this sounds like a good, balanced approach.

Of course it's not going to play in Republicanland, but we'll get to their proposals in due course.

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