Carol Platt Liebau: I'll Take Wilson

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I'll Take Wilson

In this piece, David Broder sets out the internecine Republican debate over immigration -- symbolized by Pete Wilson (border security first) and Chuck Hagel (path to citizenship, no 2,000 mile fence).

The reliably holier-than-thou Hagel and his ilk love to try to ascribe Republican electoral weakness in California to Gov. Wilson and Prop. 187. But they ought to check out some of these facts, as set out by Debra Saunders here:

Prop. 187 passed with 59 percent of the vote and GOP Gov. Pete Wilson, who championed the measure, was re-elected in 1994. In 2003, when Democratic Gov. Gray Davis signed a bill that would allow illegal immigrants to get drivers' licenses, he so enraged voters that he sealed his political demise. After Davis was recalled from office, the heavily Democratic California Legislature repealed the bill.

. . .

While some in the media may think all Latinos vote alike, the Los Angeles Times poll found that 38 percent of Latino voters in California strongly opposed giving driver' licenses to illegal immigrants.


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