In a sign that perhaps Pete Wilson is still pulling the strings in her campaign, the following words came out of Meg Whitman’s own mouth: “I wouldn’t support a path to legalization”. Watch the video from the debate for yourself here.
The question that asked the candidates to state their positions on immigration was “do you see any positive impacts of immigration to California and would do you support a path to legalization?”
Interestingly, both candidates skipped the first part of the question: “do you see any positive impacts of immigration to California?” Instead, they both chose to focus on the usual “secure our borders, go after employers” mantras. It’s not surprising, being that politicians hardly ever stand up to talk about the actual positivies that immigration has in our economy like how undocumented immigrants basically subsidze our way of life because undocumented immigrants pay taxes, they do some of the hardest-labor jobs, save our Social Security from going into the hole, etc. etc.
Moreover, it was particulary interesting to see Meg Whitman say she opposes a path to legalization, which by definition would be included in any comprehensive immigration reform. This was of particular interest being that her position would be at odds with most Californians. Via this Public Policy Institute poll back in March 2010 which showed that:
Seventy percent of Californians believe undocumented immigrants who have been living and working in the United States for at least two years should be allowed to keep their jobs and eventually apply for legal status.
On the other hand, Jerry Brown bragged about how he signed on California to the so-called ”Secure Communities Program”. Too bad that the program actually makes our communities unsafe because it punishes the good guys and lets the bad ones go. Nevertheless, kudos to Jerry Brown for the reference he made to Eastern European authoritarian regimes of the past, reiterating that authoritarian laws that only focus on inhumanely rounding people up are just plain wrong. Also, kudos for not letting Meg Whitman off the hook for her inconsistencies on her stand on immigrant economic refugees. Jerry Brown’s Facebook page highlighted the following after the debate:
JUST THE FACTS #5: MEG WHITMAN FLIP-FLOPS ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION
Meg Whitman’s position on how California should handle its undocumented immigrants is riddled with inconsistencies. She initially embraced the strict, anti-illegal immigrant rhetoric of her campaign chairman, former Gov. Pete Wilson, during the Republican primaries. However, in a transparent attempt to pander to moderate voters, she has muddled many of her positions saying that her past statements should be viewed in light of her unfamiliarity with the issue.
Whitman Names Prop. 187 Champion Pete Wilson Campaign Chair, Nowhere To Be Found After Primary
• “In the GOP primary…Whitman brought out her campaign manager, former Gov. Pete Wilson, a man celebrated by many conservatives and reviled by many Latinos because of his highly visible support of Proposition 187. Wilson appeared in a radio ad called ‘Tough as Nails,’ in which Whitman said, ‘Illegal immigrants should not expect benefits from the state of California.’” [Los Angeles Times, 7/14/10]
• “During the Republican gubernatorial primary, Meg Whitman responded to her rival, Steve Poizner, by enforcing her opposition to amnesty for illegal immigrants. She even went so far as to enlist former Gov. Pete Wilson, who declared Whitman “tough as nails” on the issue. But that was then. Now, Whitman is on the air with two new Spanish-language ads, and Wilson is nowhere to be found. Instead, the ads discuss Whitman’s opposition to Arizona’s immigration law and to Proposition 187, the 1994 measure backed by, you guessed it, Pete Wilson.” [Los Angeles Times, 6/17/10]
Whitman Says She Would Let The Arizona Law Stand For Arizona
• “I would, you know I think, I understand that immigration is a federal issue, but I would say, you know, the states have got to be able to decide what is right for their state, so I would let the Arizona law stand for Arizona.” [Meg Whitman on Talk Radio Network's "America's Morning News," 7/28/10]
• “If the Arizona law is correct, are you [Meg Whitman] going to be an advocate to get a similar law passed in California? Oh, wait a second. California has different geography? Oh, I understand now. ” ["The John and Ken Show", KFI 640 AM, 8/2/10]
Whitman Supports Forced Reporting Of Undocumented Immigrants-Which Was Part Of Proposition 187
• “Whitman said…that schools, hospitals and law enforcement agencies should be required to report undocumented immigrants to federal authorities. She later backtracked on schools, saying, ‘I want to think about that a little bit.’” [Los Angeles Times, 2/11/09]
Whitman Wants To Ban Children Of Undocumented Immigrants From Public Universities
• “As governor, Meg will support policies that will not allow undocumented immigrants admission to state-funded institutions of higher education, such as UC, CSU and community colleges. [Meg Whitman, Meg 2010: Building A New California]
Whitman Says She Is Unfamiliar With Illegal Immigration Terminology
• “[Whitman] has struggled to explain her past and current positions on the issue. She said…her lack of familiarity with the issue and her newness to politics had caused the misunderstanding. ‘When you’re new to politics, sometimes you use words that have like a meaning to people who have been in politics for 20 years,’ she explained.” [The Washington Post, 5/31/10]
For other video clips from the debate, visit KABC’s site here.