“Huge demonstrations are taking place across the nation over immigrants’
rights. Although immigration is a federal issue, there are state impacts.
Will these demonstrations force a fundamental political change in the
Capitol’s attitude toward illegal immigration?”
No. There is no Capitol attitude toward illegal immigration, just lots of
California politics are some of the most sympathetic in the nation. All the
attention now surrounding the issue may help to better educate all the
decision makers. Hopefully this will take out of the emotional responses
we’ve seen from both sides in the past. Just maybe we might get a well
thought out policy for a change!
Not sure what the “Capitol’s attitude” is toward illegal immigration.
Certainly, the current atmosphere hovering over the federal landscape has to
be cause for alarm among Republicans. Their candidates face an uphill battle
anyway in California, and if demonstrations and brawls at the federal level
rekindle memories of 1994 and the ghosts of Proposition 187, they will once
again mobilize Latino voters on behalf of Democrats.
Possibly the worst PR campaign since “new Coke.” Images of students cutting
class, stopping traffic and waving Mexican flags will only serve to push
those folks who are on the fence, relative to amnesty and guest-worker
programs, into the “over my dead body” camp.
The sleeping giant of California politics has awakened, just as it did when
it was threatened by propositions 187 and 209. However, it remains to be
seen whether this new wave of activism will continue or whether the newly
awakened voters will drop out of politics again once the immediate threat
Rather than force a change, they will harden existing attitudes. Open-border
Democrats will feel energized by the large turnout for the rallies.
Anti-illegal immigrant Republicans will be outraged by the sight of hundreds
of thousands of illegals openly parading through the streets carrying
“March today, Vote Democratic in November” was one of the handmade signs I
saw during the March in Sacramento. And that’s the only thing that will
result in a “fundamental” change in attitudes. Legislative Republicans are
pandering to the Minutemen types, Democrats are appealing to the Latino
Caucus, and the Governor is trying to straddle the fence. If Democrats are
able to take advantage of the focus on Republican extremism in November,
then Arnold and Co. will pay the price.
They will in Washington but not Sacramento. This is an issue that has been
defining our state for over a decade, and the political lines are pretty
much set in concrete. The challenge will be to see if the national GOP can
learn from their state party’s mistakes, and if the Democrats can contain
themselves from giving away the country to the undocumented.
For people on each side of the issue the demonstrations will harden their
position. For the people in the middle, I think that the demonstrations
will, unfortunately, produce a backlash. A silent invisible workforce is one
thing. A political body demanding the right to vote, healthcare and
government services is another.
The people from whom we sought opinions: Andrew Acosta, A.G. Block, Don
Wilcox, Jon Fleischman, Evan Goldberg, Deborah Gonzalez, Dan Schnur, Jason
Kinney, Tom Kise, Karen Hanretty, Kevin Spillane, Michael Houston, Matt
Ross, Sam Delson, Mike Madrid, Morgan Crinklaw, Dave Lesher, Richard Zeiger,
Ralph Simoni, Bob Hertzberg, Scott Baugh, Steve Maviglio, Tony Quinn, Peter
DeMarco, Adam Probolsky, Barbara O’Connor, Jack Pitney.