- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 4, 2008

Linda Chavez’s claim that Republicans need to welcome immigrants to win votes (“Welcome to America,” Commentary, Nov. 27) is not supported by the facts. Legal immigrants do not support leniency for illegal immigrants, as shown by an April 2007 poll by McLaughlin & Associates. For example, 59 percent of Latinos favor prohibiting driver’s licenses for illegals.

Mrs. Chavez should not characterize the Republican Party as simply anti-immigrant if what she really means is anti-illegal -immigrant. The lack of distinction between the records of President-elect Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain on immigration and the almost total lack of debate on the issue throughout national and state campaigns do not support her argument.

MSNBC reports that, according to exit polls by Telemundo, none of the key swing states would have fallen into the McCain column without Latino votes. Only New Mexico and Indiana would have switched (a change that would not have cost President-elect Barack Obama the election).

In short, the Latino vote was not pivotal in the past election, and both Democrats and Republicans need to wake up to the fact that 70 percent to 80 percent of all Americans want something done to reduce the presence of illegal immigrants.



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