Immigration Reform: Taboo or Non Issue?

October 24, 2008 12:01:40 AM PDT
As the presidential candidates battle it out with less than two weeks to go until Election Day, one of the issues candidates aren't talking about is immigration reform. There are several ideas as to why we're not hearing more about it.Just before addressing a crowd of young conservatives in downtown Fresno, valley scholar and conservative author Victor Davis Hanson called it a dead issue. "People can say all they want, but the fact is the borders are going to close, and we're not going to round everybody up and deport, both parties can go and say what they want, but that's just a fact," said Hanson. Hanson said the influx of illegal immigrants is starting to correct itself because of the tightening border security and employer sanctions.

But people who gathered at a Farm Workers research forum at Fresno State Thursday night said the issue is still very much alive. "The candidates at some point will have to be cornered to listening to the migrant community, because they will have a say in the vote," said farm worker advocate Monica Chavez.

Still Chavez and others acknowledged the debate is on the back burner for now. "It's a taboo in the election. And I think in the benefit of the campaign, both Mc Cain and Obama, they just don't mention it," said Dr. Alfredo Cuellar, a Fresno State professor.

A recent survey by CNN shows only 5 percent of voters who were surveyed named illegal immigration as the most important issue in this campaign, while 58 percent said it was the economy. But when it comes to the economic downturn, Hanson said there is also another issue the candidates aren't talking about. "I'm disturbed that neither candidate is talking about debt, but I don't know how you do that in a recession," said Hanson.

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