The race for the White House

In the last days before the election, Woman to Woman Voter Campaign concludes this project between Blount Today, the League of Women Voters and American Association of University Women in looking at the candidates stand on issues of importance to Blount County voters. For a complete look at all the issues, visit the League of Women Voters, AAUW or Blount Today websites. This election project is a joint endeavor and strives to offer a comparison of the views of the two presidential candidates on issues of importance to Blount County. The League and AAUW researched and compiledthe analysis of the platforms of Senators Obama and McCain. Blount Today is happy to provide editorial space in order to encourage people to vote in November and to be an informed electorate.

The Issue: Immigration

Why should we care about immigration? There is the perceived loss of US jobs to immigrants, legal or illegal, who are willing to work for low wages; there is a need for immigrant labor in some farming operations; there is disagreement regarding granting eligibility for participation in Social Security and other social programs and concerning establishment of a pathway to legal residence and citizenship.

Senator Obama

• Supported Bush-backed immigration reform legislation, which would have improved border security and enforcement of existing laws and provided a path to citizenship for some illegal immigrants

• Voted for allowing illegal aliens to participate in social programs including Social Security

• Would crack down on employers who hire undocumented workers but advocates a means for employers to verify employees’ eligibility to work in U.S.

• Voted for establishment of a “guest worker” program

• Voted against making English the official language of the U.S. government

• Voted for the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which authorized construction of a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border

• Supports a system that allows undocumented immigrants who are in good standing to pay a fine, learn English, not violate the law, and go to the back of the line for the opportunity to become citizens.

• Believes the legal limit on immigrants should be increased to keep families together and provide workers for jobs.

Senator McCain

• Co-sponsored Bush-backed immigration reform legislation, which would have improved border security and enforcement of existing laws and provided a path to citizenship for some illegal immigrants

• Voted for allowing illegal aliens to participate in social programs including Social Security

• Voted for a “guest worker” program but would support only after the border is secure

• Voted for making English the official language of the U.S. government, but in 2007 was opposed to it

• Voted for the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which authorized construction of a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border

• Would use background checks to identify criminal aliens for prosecution and deportation, then ensure that the remaining undocumented immigrants either leave or learn English, pay back taxes and fines, and pass a citizenship course as part of a path to legal status.

• Would implement an electronic employment verification system to ensure that individuals are efficiently screened for work eligibility; aggressively prosecute employers that continue to hire illegal immigrants.

Sources and further information:

http://www.johnmccain.com/Informing/Issues/

http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/issues/ImmigrationFactSheet.pdf

http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/issues/issues.immigration.html

http://www.ontheissues.org

http://www.procon.org/

http://www.issue2008.com/

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