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How "centrist" will No Labels be on immigration?

There's a new "centrist" group called No Labels in town [1], but they actually appear to be just a vehicle for a presidential run by Michael Bloomberg. And, it looks like on immigration and trade they'll support policies that are establishment-friendly but which cause harm to everyone else.

One of the leaders of the group is former George W Bush advisor Mark McKinnon, and one of those who'll be appearing at their kickoff announcement is Antonio Villaraigosa. Another person involved is John Avlon. And, another person involved in some way is former Los Angeles Times editor Andres Martinez (currently with the New America Foundation).

If you've been following this site for a while (or clicked the links above), by now alarm bells are ringing in your ears: all those listed are bad on immigration. On that issue they're only centrists in the misleading establishment sense, supporting comprehensive immigration reform (aka amnesty), a truly radical plan. The amnesty they support would - among many other things - be a huge gift to the Democratic Party and would increase spending, lower the power of current U.S. citizens, and give the Mexican government a great deal of power inside the U.S.

And, all enable in their own ways illegal immigration, whether it's highlighting the importance of a ready supply of greenskeepers (Bloomberg), or sending all Mexico the message that he won't try to curb illegal immigration (Villaraigosa).

While there isn't much on their site about immigration, their true position is telegraphed by Avlon [2] and then driven home by Martinez [3].

I'll tweet @NoLabelsOrg and ask for an official statement with the details on their immigration position, but the chances of them supporting something like attrition are slim indeed.

12/13/10 UPDATE: I've never gotten a reply from @NoLabelsOrg, but here's another data point (link):

I tuned in to the webcast of the group’s kickoff to hear a woman saying, “You just have to look to Arizona to see extremists who are trying to divide us.” I guess I know how the group feels about the Arizona immigration enforcement law. Of course, I thought the point of the group was to stop labeling people; but I guess it’s okay to label the overwhelming majority of Arizonans “extremists.”

It would be obviously helpful to know who said that and how high in the organization they are, but it's certainly in line with the quotes below.

As a slight counterweight to everything else in this post, No Labels is certainly scaring or at least bothering a large number of GOP/Dem partisan hacks, so they've got that going for them. But, what we really need is a mainstream group that opposes things like Democratic race-baiting as strongly as they oppose giveaways to connected corporations and that, of course, also strongly opposes illegal and massive immigration. The chances of such a group forming are slim because the money is on the other side and most people who concern themselves with politics tend to be partisan.

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[1] From this:

No Labels (www.nolabels.org) is led by Democratic fund-raiser Nancy Jacobson and Republican strategist Mark McKinnon, who were introduced to each other by Kevin Sheekey, Mr. Bloomberg's political adviser.

The group has raised more than $1 million to seed its effort against what it calls "hyper-partisanship." Backers include co-chairman of Loews Corp. Andrew Tisch, Panera Bread founder Ron Shaich and ex-Facebook executive Dave Morin. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, as well as U.S. senators (Joe Lieberman) of Connecticut and Michigan's Debbie Stabenow, will attend the New York launch [on December 13].

[2] nolabels.org/blog/americans-vote-divided-government-again

"From deficit reduction to energy independence and immigration reform, there are policy paths where the center can lead in proposing new solutions."

[3] nolabels.org/blog/hey-voter-rest-world-out-get-you

But let’s not kid ourselves: this manufactured xenophobia leaves a lasting legacy. It isn't good – for ourselves or the rest of the world – when the United States turns inward. Americans oscillate between seeing the rest of the world as a boundless opportunity or as an overwhelming threat, and the latter mindset erodes our national confidence and clouds our better policymaking judgment. Regardless of what one thinks a rational immigration policy looks like, it is hard to even have that discussion with the hyper-partisan and overwrought demagoguery around the issue. The constant China-bashing makes it hard for the administration to engage Beijing on any subject. America now runs the risk of running scared from any number of opportunities to grow our economy: a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll early this month found that 53% of those surveyed said free trade hurts the United States. Alarming, but hardly surprising given the narrative of our politics.

Fri, 11/26/2010 - 16:00 · Importance: 4