by Kevin Johnson
January 21, 2008
Immigration was a non-issue in the South Carolina Democratic Presidential Debate, which ended just minutes ago. The personal attacks back-and-forth between Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama undoubtedly will get tons of press.
Substantively, although immigration has become an important policy issue in South Carolina, which has seen an increase in Mexican migration over the last decade, immigration was barely mentioned in the debate. In response to a question, all of the candidates agreed that "illegal immigrants" would not be eligible for medical care under each candidate's respective health care reform proposal. The response is not surprising given the public antipathy for any public benefit receipt by undocumented immigrants. This was the full extent of "discussion" of immigration in the debate.
In Nevada, we got two minutes "discussion" of immigration in the Democratic debate. South Carolina received even less. Is this the beginning of a trend as the economy, the war, etc. eclipse many domestic issues, such as immigration?
previously posted on Immigration Prof Blog