- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 16, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

President-elect Barack Obama never offered a salient plan to address illegal immigration, despite clear public sentiment favoring reform.

A recent Zogby poll showed that a majority of Americans would like to see a crackdown on illegal immigrants, but voted for Mr. Obama in spite of his support for amnesty. It is important to note that 60 percent of voters would like to reduce illegal immigration and crack down on employers who hire illegal workers. Only 21 percent of voters would support creating a legalized pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

Furthermore, 57 percent of voters said amnesty would hurt American workers and create more of a burden for the taxpayer. In Arizona, Proposition 202 would have made it easier for businesses to hire illegal immigrants. It was rejected by 60 percent of voters. This number included 56 percent of Latino voters. Only 26 percent of those polled said amnesty would not cause a burden to the taxpayer and would help America recover from the recession.

Unfortunately, the economy swamped immigration as an issue. Even among Latino voters in America, 54 percent placed the economy as issue No. 1 and only 11 percent said immigration was their No. 1 issue.

As politicians do, Mr. Obama took his cue and shied away from immigration. The presidential transition Web site, change.gov, says nothing about illegal immigration. There is nothing about beefing up the borders or work visas.

Without any stated policy on illegal immigration, the incoming Obama administration has a blank check. Will Mr. Obama use it to pass amnesty? If the new administration is paying any attention to what the majority of Americans actually want, we hope not.

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