Sarah Palin And Illegal Immigration

Some people are upset that Sarah Palin is coming across as more than a little squishy on illegal immigration lately. For example, here’s Palin talking to Univision,

Governor, let me ask you about immigration. How many undocumented immigrants are there in Alaska?

I don’t know, I don’t know. That’s a good question.

As governor, how do you deal with them? Do you think they all should be deported?

There is no way that in the US we would roundup every illegal immigrant -there are about 12 million of the illegal immigrants – not only economically is that just an impossibility but that’s not a humane way anyway to deal with the issue that we face with illegal immigration.

Do you then favor an amnesty for the 12 or 13 million undocumented immigrants?

No, I do not. I do not. Not total amnesty. You know, people have got to follow the rules. They’ve got to follow the bar, and we have got to make sure that there is equal opportunity and those who are here legally should be first in line for services being provided and those opportunities that this great country provides.

To clarify, so you support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants?

I do because I understand why people would want to be in America. To seek the safety and prosperity, the opportunities, the health that is here. It is so important that yes, people follow the rules so that people can be treated equally and fairly in this.

Should anti-amnesty advocates freak out over this? No, they shouldn’t.

Why?

Well, there are two things you have to understand about Sarah Palin and illegal immigration.

First off, because of its location, illegal immigration is essentially a non-issue in Alaska. So, if you’re looking for clues about what she really believes on the issue, there’s not too much in her record as a governor to judge her on. That being said, Laura Ingraham said back in March that Palin told her she was anti-comprehensive immigration reform.

….So, back to the Veepstakes. Sarah Palin: I like her. (Producer: “Babe”) Well, she is. She’s a beautiful woman, but she’s also a conservative. Her husband, I think is a shrimper? (pause) He’s a fisherman. I’m not kidding you, and they go out and fish on the weekends. He’s a commercial fisherman. I’m telling you, I think that sells. That sells a lot more than “my friends” and comprehensive immigration reform. And she’s not for comprehensive reform, I can tell you that right now. She’s sick to death of this immigration nonsense in the United States.”

“But Hawkins,” you’re probably thinking, “look what she said in that interview!”

Here’s the thing: illegal immigration is a big issue to McCain and as his VP, Palin has little choice other than to say that to toe his line. If Duncan Hunter, Fred Thompson, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, etc., etc., etc., had ended up as McCain’s VP, guess what? They’d be saying the exact same thing as Sarah Palin did to Univision. That’s the price you have to pay if you want to be the VP.

So, for the moment, don’t put too much stock in anything Palin says about the immigration issue because no matter what she really believes, she has no real choice other than to ape McCain’s stance.

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