Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin on immigration reform
I don’t know how many people watched Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck talk yesterday on Fox News, at a specially arranged room in Battery Park, with a view of the Statue of Liberty and New York harbor. When Glenn Beck brought up immigration at the end of the broadcast, it was nearly the most substantive policy exchange they had.
Both Beck and Palin quickly agreed that the immigration system needed to be “streamlined.” It’s interesting that two of the main opinion-makers for the conservative wing of the Republican Party and Tea Party movement seemed so hip to the idea of making it “easier to bring people in,” as Beck put it, which perhaps isn’t the stance they would be expected to take.
Sarah Palin seemed particularly irked that Democrats had been allowed to portray their party as the party of immigration. She said: “(We) are at fault when we allow the other side to capture this immigration issue.” She also said, “We need to continue to be so welcoming.”
She emphasized she was no fan of illegal immigration adding: “People do need to come in the right way they cannot take advantage of what this country has to offer.”I’ve written previously about how conservative figures seem to be softening their views on immigration. Last year, Bill O’Reilly seemed to give a nod to a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, a plan that those who want less immigration have often labeled an amnesty. Lou Dobbs, after leaving CNN, has reached out to Latinos, after years of drawing criticism for his hardline views on immigration.
And I’ve also written about how Palin has drawn flack from the anti-immigration wing of the conservative movement for vague statements that made them suspect that she’s softer on immigration than they would like. After yesterday’s interview Palin and Beck have come closer than ever to expressing their definitive view on the U.S. immigration system. But for starters they believe it needs to be streamlined to make it easier for people to enter the country legally.
Neither spoke about what should be done with the 12 million undocumented immigrants living in this country, but it will be interesting to see where they come down on that sticky issue, since so far they’ve offered a rather moderate vision in terms of their wishes for immigration reform.