November 5, 2007
If Hillary Clinton seemed confused about how to answer a question about illegal immigrants getting driver’s licenses, it may not only have been because she was looking toward the general election. Even among Democrats, there is grave concern about illegal immigrants in Iowa, a state that is more than more than 95 percent white and 4 percent Hispanic, according to 2005 Census Bureau estimates.
“We have a war going on and we’re paying for hospital care, children in school [illegal immigrants]?” a woman pointedly asked John Edwards in Williamsburg Iowa over the weekend. When a person in the crowd said they had not heard the question, Edwards said the query was about one woman’s “view” of immigration, suggesting he did not agree with her sentiments.
Edwards, like all of the Democratic presidential candidates, said he supported a way to allow illegal immigrants who are already in the country to become citizens. But he also noted that although he was opposed to huge barrier across the Mexican border, “there are some places where some fencing might do some good,” a position Clinton has also taken. He drew loud applause when he said it was important to be “harder on employers who violate the law” by bringing in illegal immigrants to work for them.