Immigration Left Off the Questions List Again in Debates

Posted on: November 30th, 2016
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The third of the four campaign debates ended last night and while most of the talk has been about Mr. Trump’s “locker room” tape response and his odd/creepy/menacing standing right behind Mrs. Clinton, I couldn’t help but be frustrated again when the moderators and the audience members failed to ask a question about the candidates’ immigration views.

The closest we got last night was a question on Islamophobia where the screening of Syrian refugees was mentioned by the candidates. While that subject is important, the subject only affects a tiny percentage of immigrants and the extremely controversial border wall nor the other extreme policies of Mr. Trump were mentioned. This is a subject of major importance to the public and it needs to get its due.

Some in the pro-immigration community are pleased that immigration has taken a lower profile in recent weeks. The concern is that candidate grandstanding would make it even harder to come to a consensus after the election. But if the Republicans badly lose next month and the narrative is that the immigration issue was litigated in the campaign and Republicans were punished for their views, the odds will be better that we’ll see immigration reform move in 2017.

Of course, that’s the argument that was made after 2012’s election. I think the difference is that Paul Ryan will lead Republicans in the House and I believe the odds are better he’ll move on the issue than Speaker Boehner was.