Thursday, May 25, 2006

Illegal Immigration: Heavy Metal or Grunge?

Some of those hard livin’ metal-heads chalk up the demise of metal in the late 80s to the self-absorbed equivocating of the kids fronting grunge bands. Grunge, an offspring of heavy metal, spoke the language.

Headbangers & politicians know: you must speak the language if you wanna' get to…

Recently, Congressional pols have been ignoring this rule. Take the immigration debate; it’s headed for a major collision, in part, because there are a few too many metal heads in the Senate.

The 62 Senators that voted for the all-encompassing immigration reform package seem unwilling to consider the fact that a majority of Americans are most concerned with illegal immigration at the border. The House offered up their grunge version, and it’s all about the fence. They seem to know what to play. They now go to conference to negotiate out the differences and pass something so they can all cut & paste a victory on illegal immigration quote to campaign material.

But this is an Iowa political blog, so how’s this relevant to Iowa politics? Outside of the GOP primary in the First Congressional District, immigration policy doesn’t have any specific state or local hook, but given the polling numbers, it’s going to be an issue that candidates down the ticket will have to address.

The KCCI poll (PDF) asked 600 likely voters their thoughts on political name id, the head-to-head races, illegal immigration and domestic spying. The poll included five questions on illegal immigration and, for the most part, the numbers look like the national numbers; Iowans are typical. The key immigration question asked the 600 likely voters how the illegal immigration debate will factor into their election-day decisions, about half the respondents indicated it’s a very important issue.

This is where it might be fun.

We know what the illegal immigration debate sounds like in Congress. But how is the illegal immigration debate going to play out in the state & local races? Will it affect the debate on education and social services spending? Are we going to refocus law enforcement to go after illegal immigration crimes? Do we tackle all the suggestions out of the New Iowans Study Committee report?

Somethin' to think about over the holiday weekend.

* I'm officially past one year on this project, and somehow it hasn't helped all that much. Thanks for all the kind words & support. Iowa's a great place to be, people are so willing to lend a hand and give credit and acknowledgement to their fellow Iowans. It's a supportive and nurturing culture, open to new people, new ideas & even new phrases. No, in Iowa everyone is wonderful…particularly in blogland.

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