* Some of you may have seen this New York Times article over the weekend…
In a private meeting with White House officials this weekend, Democratic governors voiced deep anxiety about the Obama administration’s suit against Arizona’s new immigration law, worrying that it could cost a vulnerable Democratic Party in the fall elections.
While the weak economy dominated the official agenda at the summer meeting here of the National Governors Association, concern over immigration policy pervaded the closed-door session between Democratic governors and White House officials and simmered throughout the three-day event.
At the Democrats’ meeting on Saturday, some governors bemoaned the timing of the Justice Department lawsuit, according to two governors who spoke anonymously because the discussion was private.
“Universally the governors are saying, ‘We’ve got to talk about jobs,’ ” Gov. Phil Bredesen of Tennessee, a Democrat, said in an interview. “And all of a sudden we have immigration going on.”
* So, I decided to ask the campaigns of Pat Quinn and Bill Brady where the candidates stood on the federal lawsuit against Arizona.
First up, Pat Quinn’s campaign…
Gov Quinn’s top priority is jobs and economic growth in Illinois. He will continue to work tirelessly to put Illinois back to work and keep us on the road to recovery. Similarly, he believes Washington DC should be focused on economic recovery for Illinois and all of the states in the nation. That said, he believes the immigration system is broken and we need to act now with a federal solution. Gov Quinn believes there needs to be comprehensive immigration reform. What we really can’t let happen is 50 separate immigration policies — or having the issue turned into an excuse for racial profiling.
This also is an economic issue for states. The federal government should be reimbursing states for costs associated with immigration enforcement.
That didn’t answer my question, so I asked whether Quinn supports the administration’s lawsuit. The reply…
I’ll take that as a “yes.”
* Brady’s campaign finally answered my question a few minutes ago, even though I sent it to them last night and followed up a few times today…
“Cracking down on illegal immigration must be addressed by the federal government. It is troubling that the Administration is spending taxpayer money and resources on a lawsuit instead of addressing the problem. The people of Arizona should not be punished for the federal government’s failure to meet its responsibilities.”
– Patty Schuh
I’ll take that as a “No.”
* Keep in mind that we have a whole lot of European illegal immigrants in this state, so the issue plays differently in Illinois than elsewhere. That could explain some of the difficulty in extracting straight answers today. Also keep in mind that over the top remarks about immigrants are always dealt with harshly here. Keep it civil or go away.
…Adding… From the Decatur Herald & Review via Progress Illinois…
State Rep. Bill Mitchell, R-Forsyth, and Adam Brown, Republican candidate for the 101st House District seat, announced Thursday that they plan to ease this burden by introducing an Arizona-style bill in the state legislature.
“Part of the reason Illinois is going broke is because of illegal immigration,” Mitchell said at a news conference at Brown’s campaign headquarters.
Mitchell said the bill will include these components: illegal immigrants who are identified by authorities will be reported to federal law enforcement for detention; the state will not pay welfare benefits to illegal immigrants; and sanctuary cities will not receive state funds. […]
“They’re criminals,” Brown said. “This is based on a fundamental issue that has been ignored by the federal and state governments.”
PI blasts away at both men and concludes…
If Mitchell and Brown don’t believe us, maybe they will listen to former Gov. Jim Edgar. Just this spring, he told reporters that it would be “disastrous political issue for the Republican Party if we are viewed as anti-immigration.” This bill would cement that image into the minds of voters everywhere.