Friday, February 01, 2008
Differences - #2 Immigrant Rights
I am continuing to take up Betty's challenge on differences between Obama and Clinton that make Obama more progressive - having already discussed foreign policy outlook in a comment below.
Today's Times article about last night's debate shows another difference that is very meaningful to me, given the work I've done on this in Rhode Island -- Obama supports allowing undocumented immigrants to have driver's licenses, which Clinton does not. Granted, she was for the proposal in New York State before she was against it, but now she is pretty clearly against it.
Not afraid of the inevitable right-wing tidal wave that will come his way on the issue, Obama simply stated last night that “People don’t come here to drive, they come here to work."
Driver's licenses are arguably less important than a path to citizenship, but they are still pretty damn important - how would you like yours taken away? The issue is also a symbol of how far one is willing to go to stand up for basic fairness towards undocumented immigrants, who, as every politician knows, are not able to vote.
Anyone is welcome to come forward with the (easy to anticipate) argument about how Democrats should go into hiding on what pundits are calling the "wedge issue" of immigrant rights so that they can win on other things. But I can already tell you I don't agree.