How weak is Scott Brown on immigration? (Massachusetts senate race; Ted Kennedy seat)
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Former Cosmopolitan centerfold Scott Brown is trying to become the new Senator from Massachusetts to replace Ted Kennedy. He doesn't appear to be in the Tom Tancredo mold when it comes to immigration, but there isn't enough information to tell whether he's just a little weak or whether he's very weak and would support some form of comprehensive immigration reform. He's the GOP establishment favorite, even if the national GOP - in a rare show of sanity - isn't throwing their full weight behind him due to his slim chances of victory. While he's gotten some tea parties support, they have their own, fringe candidate (Joe Kennedy, see this).
This is the entirety of Brown's immigration position from his site (brownforussenate.com/issues):
I recognize that our strength as a nation is built on the immigrant experience in America. I welcome legal immigration to this country. However, we are also a nation of laws and government should not adopt policies that encourage illegal immigration. Providing driver’s licenses and in-state tuition to illegal immigrant families will act as a magnet in drawing more people here in violation of the law and it will impose new costs on taxpayers. I oppose amnesty, and I believe we ought to strengthen our border enforcement and institute an employment verification system with penalties for companies that hire illegal immigrants.
The above is mostly stock boilerplate. While the drivers licenses and DREAM Act portions are both clear and welcome, some of the rest is open to interpretation. Every politician opposes amnesty; the question is whether they'd agree to "comprehensive immigration reform", and under what conditions. Every politician wants to also secure the border, and even the latest Luis Gutierrez amnesty supports some form of employment verification system. And, instead of simply stating that he welcomes legal immigration, he needs to state how much, of what kind, from what countries, and so on. Would he support limited legal immigration, or would he support even more than we have now? Would he seek to limit chain migration? Would he support some form of massive H1B program? None of that is clear.
In September of last year he said (link):
the national Democratic Party wants a rubber stamp in Washington. There are some important votes coming up in the U.S. Senate on issues like healthcare reform, cap and trade and immigration reform... ...They want a “yes” vote on immigration reform, even if it means amnesty for illegal aliens.
That's somewhat hopeful, although once again he could be playing word games and would support "reform" under some conditions.
This recount of an appearance is also mixed (link):
The discussion on Afghanistan led to a related issued that Brown believes is equally tied to national security and that is immigration. He said that our immigration laws need to be reformed. However, programs that give preference in granting citizenship to illegal over legal immigrants are problematic for him. He commented on the negative impact illegal immigration is having on the country and particularly on Massachusetts. Brown charged that illegal immigration was responsible for draining the state’s “free care” pool, which was set up to provide medical service to our indigent residents. He noted that our public education resources are also being drained by the demands caused by illegal immigration.
It's good to see that he's tying immigration to national security and some of the rest is also good. But it's a bad sign that he wants to reform immigration laws. While minor tweaks might be needed here and there, the problem isn't so much with the laws but with the fact that politicians are corrupt and don't support enforcement of those laws.
And, this says the following although their summary of his position might not be correct:
Immigration: Coakley supports a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants now in the country. Brown believes they should apply for citizenship, return to their native land, and wait their turn.
Once again, more information is needed. Is he suggesting a "symbolic rebooting" where illegal aliens would only return home for a few hours (the "touchback" provisions in previous bills)? What would he say about immigration line?
There are a lot of questions about his stance, and if you're in Massachusetts I urge you to go ask him questions designed to reveal where he actually stands. Here are some questions for Doug Hoffman; #1, #4, and #5 apply to him as well (and perhaps the AgJOBS question too). See also the questions here. After asking him one of those questions, upload his response to video sharing sites.