Clinton "broadly supports" Spitzer License Initiative for Illegals Posted by: McQ
on Monday, November 05, 2007
She's still all over the place on this but her inability to figure out where to land on the issue is indicative of the internal disarray Democrats face on illegal immigration.
When up to 70% of New Yorkers are against the Spitzer solution, but 6 of 7 Democratic presidential candidates say they support it during the last debate, there a serious disconnect there.
Yesterday in Iowa, it didn't get much better. Said Clinton:
Asked by reporters Sunday why it’s taken so long for clarification Clinton admitted she “wasn’t as clear as [she] should have been” but added, “I broadly support what governors like Elliot Spitzer are trying to do.”
Clinton said governors around the nation are left with the burden because she said the Bush administration and the federal government as a whole have failed to bring about comprehensive immigration reform.
“I think that it’s understandable that states are trying to fill a vacuum left by the failures of the federal government,” Clinton continued. “That is not an answer. I don’t want to see 50 states’ policies on immigration.”
Now the spin is that she supports efforts by governors everywhere to "fill the vacuum" left by the failure of immigration reform at a federal level. But that's not really what she'd said previously in the quote Tim Russert read during the debate nor what she said during the debate as she tried to clarify her stance.
This latest is the most reasonable stance, certainly, but again to be clear, that wasn't her stance prior to or during the debate. What is her stance on illegal immigration?
“But finally I do not believe we can resolve this problem unless we bring people out of the shadows,” Clinton said, adding that undocumented immigrants should have a pathway to citizenship but they’d need to register, pay taxes, pay fines, learn English, and wait in line after those who’ve come to the United States legally. Those who have committed crimes, she said, should be deported.
Clinton added that the policy of simply giving licenses to illegal immigrants is not something she thinks any governor would seek out.
Of course the latter comment is just nonsense. Giving licenses to illegals is precisely what Spitzer proposed and, at least based on what she said prior to the debate, what she supported. And, as a reminder, 5 more of the candidates raised their hands in support of the Spitzer initiative when asked by the moderators.
Finally Clinton said this:
“But I was in Des Moines [Iowa] yesterday, and I had three people come up to me and say that they had been hit in automobile accidents by undocumented workers, and they said ‘what are we supposed to do? We’re the ones that were injured. Our cars were damaged, and we get no relief because these people have no accountability, there’s no system that requires them to have insurance or anything else.’”
They were hit by immigrants who were here illegally, the use of "undocumented" being purposeful in order to make the point about "broadly supporting" giving them licenses. Whether they were "workers" or not is actually unknown. But to the larger issue. How many Americans are hit each day by other Americans who have no driver's license or insurance?
Texas reports that up to 30% of all accidents involve uninsured motorists. They present fake insurance cards to secure licenses for their vehicles and never carry insurance. Giving out driver's licenses won't change that nor will it solve the problem Clinton claims above.
The "system" in most, if not all states requires insurance to operate a motor vehicle, but apparently, a good number of people have figured out how to game that. The best remedy, obviously, is uninsured motorist coverage, not licenses for illegals. As is obvious, the government, this time at state level, has failed to figure out how to ensure drivers have valid insurance. And while they're getting better at it, it's not a problem licensing illegals will solve.
Anyway, the point is that Clinton's confusing positions on this question point to an opportunity for the Republicans to stake out a position on illegal immigration that will benefit them in the face of this confusion. They also need to make this their key domestic issue (one they can tie into national security as well) and keep the Democrats on the defensive about it. What they have to avoid is allowing the Dems to hang some of the emotional baggage that comes with the issue on them (heartless, cruel, human rights, children, etc.) and state a clear and comprehensive position on the illegal immigration. It is also important that they clearly differentiate legal and illegal immigration and why they support and are for legal immigration.
If the war in Iraq continues with a positive trend to the point that it isn't much of an issue at the time of the election (or at least not one the Dems can use to their advantage) and the Republican candidate has precisely and successfully defined the illegal immigration issue, it could be a very interesting presidential election.
her inability to figure out where to land on the issue is indicative of the internal disarray Democrats face on illegal immigration.
I have a feeling that Spitzer "wasn’t supposed" to do something like this leading into ’08, and this might be his way of thanking the Clintons for not telling NYS Atty. General Andrew Cuomo to back off on his report implicating Spitzer’s closest aides, and by inference Spitzer himself, in the use of NY state troopers to get dirt on NY Senate Republican leader Joe Bruno.
Cuomo’s report had Clinton fingerprints all over it, and it looked like part of her ongoing effort to curry favor on Wall Street where Spitzer is hated, as in really really hated. The trooper scandal ended Spitzer’s honeymoon as governor and rendered him, well, less than a man.
Cuomo is, of course, a Clinton retainer. Spitzer knows that, and while this licenses for illegals thing doesn’t help Spitzer, it certainly has hurt Clinton.
Texas - simple. You get enough insurance to cover registering your car at the local county office. No one checks after that to see if your insurance remains in force, unless you’re pulled over for a violation, at which time you have to show proof. No proof, another ticket, no sweat.
If that’s the dem’s big plan, it’s already proven to be crap. Reminds me of the states implementing No-Fault insurance after numerous other states were able to demonstrate it didn’t do what was promised. Reminds me of people looking for nationalized health care when we have ample demonstrations in other countries of how it doesn’t do what was promised.
The problem is always the same - "well, that was them, but we’ll do exactly what they did, and just like clinically insane people, think the results will be different this time! WE’LL GET IT RIGHT!"
The "system" in most states "requires" insurance to operate a motor vehicle, but apparently, a good number of people have figured out how to game that.
Which is disturbing, since, in order to get a license plate and register it yearly, one must show proof of insurance. In some states, the DMV offices are sometimes run by private contracters: that is what we have in NC. Some are only run by the State. Either way, you would think that they would maybe check with the insurance companies themselves up front.
NC does check, but it is well after the fact, and they only do something if you are caught in a traffic violation.
Anyhow, what I want to see is the study that shows how bringing them "out of the shadows" has deterred crime among illegals and made them safer. I won’t hold my breath, though.
"But I was in Des Moines [Iowa] yesterday, and I had three people come up to me and say that they had been hit in automobile accidents by undocumented workers, and they said ’what are we supposed to do? We’re the ones that were injured. Our cars were damaged, and we get no relief because these people have no accountability, there’s no system that requires them to have insurance or anything else.’"
Yeah......illegals are gonna get auto insurance.
Jimminy Cricket, she’s still got a contact high from her visit to Wellesley
Contempt for immigration law leads to contempt for other laws. What a concept. We never heard this before, except when NYC proved that enforcing even minor laws against nuisance crime led to reductions in serious crime as well.
Do you suppose enforcing laws might actually lead to more people following the law? Maybe I should call myself an academic and apply for a government grant. If I work Global Warming into the title, I think I’m in.
My spouse worked for an insurance agent for a couple of years. They had large numbers of people who would get car insurance, and within the month cancel the coverage, and get a refund of a large part of the premium. In most cases, it was tied to getting a vehicle licensed, or tabs renewed. As soon as the plates/tabs arrived, cancel the insurance. Even if stopped, the driver has a card that shows coverage for the initial premium period.