February 21st, 2008
08:39 PM ET
14 years ago

Schneider: Immigration reform not a risk in the fall

AUSTIN, Texas (CNN) - Clinton and Obama are calling for a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants and comprehensive immigration reform. This will play well with the Latinos voters they are courting, and it isn't likely to pose much of a risk in the general election.

Why? John McCain was a chief sponsor of comprehensive immigration reform legislation. He will have a hard time using this issue against either candidate.

Related: Watch Obama and Clinton debate immigration reform

- CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider

Filed under: Bill Schneider
soundoff (216 Responses)
  1. George

    I was pleased to hear both candidates suggest that everyone learn the English language. A common language is critical to the success and cohesion of a nation. While I don't agree with many positions of either Senator, I was pleased to here this from them.

    February 21, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  2. carlos

    what do the going to do regarding the new "amero" currency
    would they continue on with the nafta agreement ?

    February 21, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  3. republicanssuck

    I support the Democrats and don't care who winds as long as it's not any more Republicans. But I do NOT support legalization of illegal Mexican criminal immigrants. We need to seal the border entirely and reduce the number of legal immigrants. Build a triple deep fence covered in razor wire, electrified to 100,000 volts, and put guard towers up the entire length of the border with sub machine guns and build moats filled with abortion-dinducing chemicals to make all these pregnant Mexicanas stopped running across the border and dropping out all their illegal anchor babies. In 20 years they'll be calling for the separation of "Aztlan" or the western third of the US. Enough is enough! We already have 10-20 million of these illegal criminals here and we don't need any more. Then all the ones that are here should be rounded up and deported to their homeland. It's called Mexico (or Guatemala or El Salvador, whatever). Mexico should pay for all their criminals in our prisons here too. It's absurd that we have to pay for these criminals. English should be the official language too. And I am very offended that a moderator would say a single word in Spanish!

    February 21, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  4. Jim, Carbondale, IL

    I think both candidates are doing a great job. Obama looks very presidential!

    February 21, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  5. Hal

    I think they both did a great job in explaining there immigration reform, however I like Obama's Idea of immigration reform. Children who grew up in this country should get legal citizenship. l.

    February 21, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  6. T Sillanpaa California

    Wait a tick...making a simple, accurate observation about how there's no real need to enter a dispute on immigration won't allow Clinton supporters to trash Barack Obama. What're they supposed to do now? Don't deprieve them their moment.

    February 21, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  7. Beth Cook

    among B. Obama, H. Clinton, and GW Bush, Bush is the only one who can speak a foreign language–gee– H and O are supposed to be so smart....

    February 21, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  8. Vince

    On the issue of language, English is the voice of our country. As for Obama's comment on requiring a second langauge for our students, It already is here in Florida. Please have him stump on the change he keeps expressing, not things that already exist. Go Hilary

    February 21, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  9. Shrikant

    Since immigration has become a vital topic in this presidential election, could anyone discuss about legal path to citizenship for professionals with higher degrees in US?

    February 21, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  10. CJ

    Bi-lingual country. English and what language? Perhaps we should add another bird with the Eagle. Can we have some substance to what they are saying.

    Fence, smart fence Mrs. Clinton? One with concrete and barbwire would work. Perhaps electrify too.

    February 21, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  11. JAIME

    This is America our language is english... does Hillary want 170 different signs in every language everywhere in New York.... so we don't hurt anyones feelings? If I'm going to live in another country,I would "melt" in and not try to turn it into some other country... They both want to grab onto "the melting pot" words... but they don't want to hold the immigrants to the "true meaning" of that.

    February 21, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  12. Darryl, Arlington TX

    Hillary rather straight up lie. and not truthful.. In many things she say.

    February 21, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  13. lloyd williams

    Build the wall on the border. What is so complicated about that? When will some of this politicians say that dirty word?

    February 21, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  14. Heinz Noeding

    This is not a debate, but instead are simply two stump speeches that have been heard over and over again. The moderators questions are generalized, and lack any intensive follow up. The audience interaction doesn't contribute to a debate but rather a beauty contest. CNN cannot run a debate. Dissapointing for a viewer that was keen to hear an intelligent discussion of the issues.

    February 21, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  15. Zeke

    I think Obama is on his game. One of the first things he mentioned in this debate is how many of his policies match Clinton. By doing this, he has made it much less adversarial which suits him just fine. It also cancels out her argument that Obama doesnt have substance.

    February 21, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  16. John Lex

    Both senators said they would advocate more border patrol personnel vice fences. Where do they propose to get the funding for the additional manpower required to patrol the entire southern and northern borders?

    February 21, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  17. Wellwisher

    Hillary is definitely winning this debate and possibly Texas

    February 21, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  18. NDorsch

    While I agree with both candidates on the approach to immigration reform, there were some ambiguities regarding non-English speaking children being provided support in school so that they do not fall behind. I don't think bilingual education is the answer as it taxes education funding which is already in trouble. However, programs could be developed to encourage the parents to learn English and to force children to learn English in school. When I started school in the U.S. I spoke no English. By the end of my first school year, I spoke English well enough to make good grades throughout the rest of my elementary years. It can be done.

    February 21, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  19. Ron

    It would be helpful to have thoughtful follow-up questions, for example Obama's tax plan, the tax boundry has been stated repeatedly by Obama as $75,000 per family, very different from his proclamation tonight, he implied $75,000 per individual. We need help from the CNN with appropriate follow-up. Which is it?


    February 21, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  20. Bill Duffy

    I just listen to both canidates claiming illegals do not pay taxes. This is far from the truth. The IRS issuesn them Tax ID #'s they use to pay taxes and alot of them have phont SS#'s that they and their employer pays ss Taxes to. Wonder where that money goes. One thing they will not be able to collect it when they retire.

    February 21, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  21. me

    No weopon formed against Barack shall prosper in the name of Jesus!!!

    February 21, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  22. Paulina

    I am an immigrant myself and I feel it is important to continue to have english as the primary language and it shouldn't be about just learning to speak spanish it should be allowing ANYONE learn any language! Yes we should focus learning new languages but if we do not stay focused on standarized testing then how are we going to be sure the students are learning the things that they are supposed to. We should focus on testing the students and what they learn and make sure that our teachers are teaching them the lessons necessary for the future....so Senator Obama isnt our entire nation based on checks and balances why should schools be any different???

    February 21, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  23. Elaine

    Why is this topic always directed toward our Southern border? Why is it not directed to the North? I know more Canadians here illegally than I do Mexicans and I live in Texas...

    February 21, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  24. annie


    I think Obama needs to take a look at Hillary and 'watch and learn'!. I like him and I like her but let me tell you–she knows her stuff. She is vetted and he is not and she could run circles round him in any real time situation. He is our future–she is now!! Go Hil–we, the women of the US–need to wake up and realize what it is we need to do and vote for a woman–a very savvy and knowledgeable and warmhearted woman–IN as President of the United States.


    February 21, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  25. Mel

    I liked both their answers until it came to the English Language being the offical language. I strongly disagree with Mr. Obama on REQUIRING English speaking students to learn a second language. As we've learned from No Child Left behind this brings disadvantages to many schools for a variety of reasons. I have a disabled child currently struggling to learn at the pace the school had to set for no child left behind so the overall school numbers are not affected. A second langauge would be impossible. This requirement would disenfranchise schools with a higher amount of learning disabled children, due to enviromental issues, funding, and alot of other extenuating circumstances. If Enmglish is the official language there should be no requirement, it should be decided by the schools ona state to state or even county to county basis. Not mandated, because again w've learned bills like this and No Child Left behind hurts the children that need the most help into forcing them to achieve goals beyond their reach.

    February 21, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
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