Obama Stands Tall On Drivers Licenses For Undocumented Aliens

This is a great and powerful moment for Senator Barack Obama:

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Il, is standing by his support for granting driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants, even after Gov. Eliot Spitzer, D-NY, abandoned the proposal amidst rising political opposition.

“Obama said in the debate he supported it and he's standing by it,” an aide to the Senator told the Huffington Post. “He supported a similar bill in the state senate as a law enforcement measure.”

Obama's backing stands in stark contrast to the position taken by Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, whose campaign now cites the issue as a basic policy difference between the two Democratic frontrunners.

This is Barack Obama's finest moment in this campaign. And Senator Hillary Clinton's lowest. This is certainly a contrast moment and is the strongest evidence to date of the differences the two would bring to leading the country. I have said that if I were to vote today, I would vote for Barack Obama. Prior to this, it would have been a reluctant vote in his favor. Now it would be a proud vote for Obama. This is the promise he has shown now manifested in REAL leadership.


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    • pfiore8 on November 15, 2007 at 6:56 am

    is his finest moment?

    why do i feel like we are so fucked.

    why do i want his finest moment to be about impeaching Bush, or getting out of iraq, or talking about the very hard work this country has in front of it

    drivers licenses… maybe if he debunked all the bullshit surrounding the issue of undocumented aliens, that might be a finest moment.

    maybe it’s me. maybe it’s time to just give up.

  1. Why did Spitzer put forth this proposal in the first place?

    His political clout is quickly waning here in NY. He has done very little to fix New York and overall has been a big disappointment to those of us that gave him our support.

    • oculus on November 15, 2007 at 7:07 am

    Doesn’t seem likely to me that the majority of undocumented persons will apply for drivers licenses even if permitted to do so.  Law enforcement in the field has rapid access to the DMV data base, either by calling dispatch or using computer in the patrol car.  Now, at least in California, local and state law enforcement have a “hands off” approach re possible immigration law violations when contacting a person who may be illegally in the U.S.; rationale:  law enforcement wants to encourage undocumented persons to cooperate with law enforcement to prosecute crimes, etc.  But, given the federal government is requiring states to implement “real id,” how long will it be before drivers license is a means to track persons who are not legally residing here?    

  2. …you have, once and for all, demonstrated that your head is irretrievably up your ass.

    Plus, Fuck You, “Dude”:


    • robodd on November 15, 2007 at 7:30 am

    That does it for you?  A feckless policy that will achieve nothing?  Or is it the rhetoric you like?  Said honestly, without rancor.

    Issues-wise, Edwards is so far ahead of Obama it’s ridiculous.  

    Other than this, what makes you support Obama?  That’s a serious question.  I just don’t get Obama at all.  

    • Turkana on November 15, 2007 at 7:34 am

    he still hasn’t proven he’s a stand-up guy.

  3. the first impressive thing I have seen from him.

    And that’s a real shame.

  4. why 88% would be opposed?

    1. The whole anti-immigrant thing is a phony issue.

    2. The government has been running on hatred all these years.

    3. The war/occupation in Iraq is a combination of greed and hatred of “others”. (why should “they” have the oil? and the money?)

    4. Since the war in Afghanistan didn’t end with us capturing Bin Laden, for whatever reason, the haters, the neocons, turned even more viciously against the left and then against Iraqis, then all Muslims.

    5. Since the war in Iraq is going poorly and since that is so far away and not shown on TV, a new group to hate had to be found.

    This is obvious stuff, right? How could 88% buy into it?  

  5. Obama’s backing stands in stark contrast to the position taken by Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, whose campaign now cites the issue as a basic policy difference between the two Democratic frontrunners.

    Senator Clinton, Governor of New York Eliot Spitzer has proposed giving driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. He told the Nashua, New Hampshire, Editorial Board it makes a lot of sense.

    Somebody want to tell Hillary that in order to have a basic policy difference with someone you need to actually have a basic policy position in the first place?

    Russert: Why does it make a lot of sense to give an illegal immigrant a driver’s license?

    Clinton: Well, what Governor Spitzer is trying to do is fill the vacuum left by the failure of this administration to bring about comprehensive immigration reform. We know in New York we have several million at any one time who are in New York illegally. They are undocumented workers. They are driving on our roads. The possibility of them having an accident that harms themselves or others is just a matter of the odds. It’s probability.

    So what Governor Spitzer is trying to do is to fill the vacuum. I believe we need to get back to comprehensive immigration reform because no state, no matter how well intentioned, can fill this gap. There needs to be federal action on immigration reform.


    Clinton: Well, I just want to add, I did not say that it should be done, but I certainly recognize why Governor Spitzer is trying to do…

    (Unknown): Wait a minute…

    Clinton: And we have failed. We have failed.

    Dodd: No, no, no. You said — you said yes…

    Clinton: No.

    Dodd: … you thought it made sense to do it.

    Clinton: No, I didn’t, Chris. But the point is, what are we going to do with all these illegal immigrants who are driving…

    Dodd: That’s a legitimate issue. But driver’s license goes too far, in my view.

    Clinton: Well, you may say that, but what is the identification?

    If somebody runs into you today who is an undocumented worker…

    Dodd: There’s ways of dealing with that.

    Clinton: Well…

    Dodd: This is a privilege, not a right.

    Clinton: Well, what Governor Spitzer has agreed to do is to have three different licenses, one that provides identification for actually going onto airplanes and other kinds of security issues, another which is another ordinary driver’s license, and then a special card that identifies the people who would be on the road, so…

    Dodd: That’s a bureaucratic nightmare.

    Clinton: … it’s not the full privilege.

    Russert: Senator Clinton, I just want to make sure of what I heard. Do you, the New York senator, Hillary Clinton, support the New York governor’s plan to give illegal immigrants a driver’s license?

    You told the New Hampshire paper that it made a lot of sense. Do you support his plan?

    Clinton: You know, Tim, this is where everybody plays “gotcha.” It makes a lot of sense. What is the governor supposed to do? He is dealing with a serious problems. We have failed. And George Bush has failed. Do I think this is the best thing for any governor to do? No. But do I understand the sense of real desperation, trying to get a handle on this? Remember, in New York, we want to know who’s in New York. We want people to come out of the shadows.

    He’s making an honest effort to do it. We should have passed immigration reform.

    Clear as mud, Hillary.

  6. …on this, but I do.

    I mean, I agree with Obama’s stance on this completely, and I’m really glad that he took it.  But it is not real leadership.  Real leadership was the Coburn-Obama Earmark Transparency Bill.  This is simply a good stand on an issue that is driven by the press, which has no bearing on the office he is seeking, as the Federal government has nothing to do with driver’s licensing.

    Defining leadership down to being willing to defy the pundits is a step I will not take.

  7. orange stars instead

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