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Nov. 24 2009 - 12:04 pm | 212 views | 1 recommendation | 7 comments

Is Sarah Palin softer on immigration than her conservative base?

Sarah Palin

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With seemingly everyone enthused, bewildered, or angrily hyperventilating about Sarah Palin “Going Rogue” across the country peddling her new hardcover, I decided to do just a bit of research about Palin’s position on the issue I spend a great deal of time thinking about: immigration. I came across a post at Vdare, an extreme conservative webzine that advocates for a total moratorium on immigration, and saw they had parsed recent Palin media appearances for a clue on her position.

Rush Limbaugh, in his interview of Palin, actually ended with a question on immigration. This was the exchange, according to Vdare:

Limbaugh: Thirty seconds: Immigration. Can you do it in 30 seconds before we have to go?

Gov. Palin: I can’t do it in 30 seconds but just know that … You know, let me put it simply: illegal immigrants are called ‘illegal’ for a reason. We need to crack down on this. We need to listen to the border states where the governors there have some solutions and we need to get serious about that.

Not a very substantive answer. But what’s interesting is that reading between the lines, Vdare worries that Palin isn’t hard-line enough on immigration for their taste. According to Vdare’s Ryan Kennedy, Palin “showed a little tooth. But way too little for the audience she was speaking to.” And Kennedy, Vdare, and those conservatives who want to stop or drastically restrict immigration into the United States are right in being wary of Palin, according to website On the Issues. According to that website, when she ran for vice president, she told Jorge Ramos of Spanish-language network Univision that she did not support a “total amnesty” for the country’s 12 million undocumented immigrants, but she did support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants if legal immigrants are at the front of that line. She said,

I do because I understand why people would want to be in America. To seek the safety and prosperity, the opportunities, the health that is here. It is so important that yes, people follow the rules so that people can be treated equally and fairly in this country.

On the other hand, conservative radio show host Laura Ingraham has stated that Palin does not support comprehensive immigration reform (which would presumably include a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants), although it’s unclear where Inhragam obtained this information.

Obviously Palin’s immigration position is still in flux. As governor of Alaska she was not forced to take a definitive stance. And as a vice presidential nominee under John McCain, she could hardly come off as being against an immigration reform with a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, since Sen. McCain has been such a champion of a moderate approach to immigration reform.

It will be interesting to see where she goes on immigration as she becomes a national conservative figure, and maybe a presidential candidate in 2012. Will she embrace a moderate stance, or a more hardline restrictionist platform?


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  1. collapse expand

    Mr. Ballve,

    Why would Ms. Palin need a position on immigration? Her job is to sell books and she seems to be doing that quite well without any immigration policy. If she were some sort of elected official she might need something like that but she is not in the line of work.

  2. collapse expand

    Vdare’s Ryan Kennedy is just looking down his nose at Palin the way it’s become en vogue for all media ilk regardless of their… bias. Palin’s stance on illegal immigration (you can be certain it won’t be liburl) is ultimately irrelevant with her ‘base’, those folks have formed a bond with her that goes way beyond external and sometimes nebulous things like issues.

    Unrelated, but i thought of you (it was here i read about ‘Basta Dobbs’) as i was laughing my arse off the other night watching this segment of The Daily Show. Ya gotta love Stewart – that was truly priceless stuff. The Mariachis seemed to almost glow during that particular performance…

  3. collapse expand

    I wonder if Lou Dobbs and Sarah Palin might run together in 2012, with Dobbs as VP candidate, on a “strong borders,” vaguely nationalist and populist platform, maybe even on a third ticket– the Freedom and Frontier Party?

  4. collapse expand

    ALL WASHINGTON HAS TO DO IS ADD AMENDMENTS TO THE 1986 IMMIGRATION CONTROL & REFORM ACT? THE SIMPSON/ MAZZOLI BILL QUALIFIED IN THE EYES OF SEN TED KENNEDY (RIP). WHO ALSO SWORE THERE WOULD–NEVER BE ANOTHER AMNESTY. Having another path to citizenship indicates to me, that there is some underhand discussions going on behind the back of taxpaying Americans. That Sen.Harry Reid (D-NV) Speaker N. Pelosi (D-CA), will be involved with pushing through this next AMNESTY and–THE PEOPLE–will be last to know? How many more billions is it going to cost in raised taxes to legitimize 20 to 30 million foreign nationals? Currently we have two wars on the agenda, a health care package with loopholes for illegal immigrants, Cap & trade and global warming? Not forgetting that Obama promised fair free trade agreements and a bunch of other planned money spending free-for–all’s?

    As I stated, their is no need to spend millions of dollars the country doesn’t have–but prints it anyway and then tries to pass another Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill. These jokers in Washington can save taxpayers millions instead of discussing a whole new bill, just by amending parts of the 1986 law? Including in this amendment process, would be up-front information for the public to decide on? Those politicians who have been poisoned monetary by heavyweight business lobbyists and the hundreds of anti-American, open border extremists. As with Sen.Gutierrez D-IL who should not be present, as he reneged on his oath of allegiance to the United States. E-Verify should be a mandatory law, for not just new employees but for everybody who draws a payroll check. The police engagement 287 (g) law should also be fully funded by the feds and not just half measures, so that many counties can refuse to execute the illegal immigrant arrest law.

    Only with employers that have been instrumental in operating E-Verify should be allowed to display the E-Verify notice. Any person who illegally displays the placard, should be heavily fined if they violate this federal law. Senior Citizens could be hired by the feds nationwide, to inspect 1-9’s at businesses and audit documents in each region of the country. None of this will be any good if –AMNESTY–is passed as millions more illegal immigrants will be scaling the fences, or under the pretext of being a tourist gain entry to America? The last AMNESTY turned into a joke against the American taxpayer. CORPORATE WELFARE or ENTITLEMENTS are the best way to explain this, because of the illegal cheap labor market that’s poured through gaping laws in enforcement. Everybody has their price including the politicians who have been cheating the American people for years, by drafting undisclosed legislation rewarding illegal immigrants with health care and education.

    IF millions of us sit on our hands this time and stay silent, the House-Senate will push through another AMNESTY package and the biggest losers will be all of us. All those working illegally in America will do a disappearing act from agriculture and other industries, and once legal can steal every conceivable job that benefits low skilled American workers. The majority will still be paid under the table, and the same act will repeat itself as directly shown after the 1986 Amnesty. If you think the border fence is sturdy enough for those waiting to hear the Amnesty call, we really need some sense knocked in to us. TIME TO MAKE YOURSELF KNOWN TO THE LAWMAKERS WE VOTED FOR AT 202-224-3121, or go their in person. GOOGLE–these websites—NUMBERSUSA will show you the costs and enforcement gradings of those in Washington. JUDICIAL WATCH will uncover for you the rampant corruption money game. CAPSWEB will explain irreversible population growth in California and nationwide. Other sites of interest on Immigration enforcement is ALIPAC and AMERICAN PATROL and THE DARK SIDE OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION.

  5. collapse expand

    Is vdare.com “an extreme conservative” website? You must be thinking about some other site, because the founder and owner of vdare, Peter Brimelow, is a Libertarian who is against illegal immigration. vdare.com is very simply a bunch of Libertarian, Democrat and Independent conservative writers, most of them outstanding writers and investigators. They back up what they write with links to stories in the news. To call it “an extreme conservative site” is to misinform your readers. Paul Craig Roberts is a Lou Rockwell Libertarian. Donald Collins is a Democrat, a longtime vdare writer. He happens to be against illegal immigration. There are other examples.

    In case you weren’t aware, liberal Democrat Michael Cutler is very much for stopping illegal immigration. I suspect many Democrats are but are fearful (unlike Cutler) of the rath of La Raza and others in that party. So, just because a person is against illegal immigration and wants a moratorium on all legal immgration for 5 or 10 years doesn’t make him/her “an extremist”. It tells me that person is a Patriot who is concerned about his/her country.

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    About Me

    Readers, thanks for your eyeball time, please send tips, corrections, complaints, rants, etc. My email is ballve [at] gmail.com. I was born in Buenos Aires and raised there and in Atlanta, Mexico City and Caracas. I've written and reported on Latin America for almost a dozen years. I started out as an Associated Press reporter and editor in the agency’s Brazil and Caribbean bureaus. In 2007 I co-founded El Sol de San Telmo, a community newspaper in Buenos Aires. I am now a contributing editor for the nonprofit New America Media, Americas correspondent for Amsterdam-based Research World magazine (publication of the international association of market and public opinion researchers), and a 2010-2011 Lemann Fellow at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA).

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      Since 2002 I have been a contributing editor at New America Media, where I write about Latin America and the politics of immigration in the United States.

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