In the spring of 2005, I participated in a conversation with a very high-ranking member of the Bush administration, in which Hugh Hewitt warned that one issue had the potential to split the Republican Party apart: immigration. In the succeeding two years, Hugh’s prediction has come dangerously close to fulfillment.
For an excellent look at the current state of the debate, and to add your comments if you wish, check out the Sam Brownback page on the Candidates’ Forum. Brownback started a topic thread on immigration, which so far has attracted more attention and comment than anything else on the Forum. Brownback’s support for the McCain-Kennedy act drew considerable criticism, and the Brownback campaign responded to the commenters in a second immigration thread, where the debate continues.
Whatever you think of the immigration issue, Senator Brownback’s willingness to engage with the party’s base is to be applauded. But, like the administration official whom Hugh warned in 2005, I think that many in Washington, on both sides of the aisle, fail to fully appreciate both the breadth and the depth of feeling on the illegal immigration issue.
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