A project of the Center for Community Change

End the Candidates’ Silence on Immigration!

So far, one topic has been glaringly absent from the Presidential debates: immigration. As I’ve posted various times in the past few weeks, both Barack Obama and John McCain have yet to answer a debate question on the topic (even while they court the much sought-after Latino vote).

Obama and McCain haven’t been afraid to talk about who is to blame for the demise of 2007’s immigration bill. In dueling Spanish-language ads, McCain has unfairly accused Obama of trying to block the major immigration bill that he supported. Obama retaliated with an equally questionable ad tying McCain to immigration hardliners like Rush Limbaugh who McCain has generally stood up to. Yet amidst all of this finger-pointing, neither candidate has adequately addressed the bottom line: what would they do, as president, to fix our broken immigration system?

Well, now is the time. Organizations and individuals across the country are calling on both candidates to address immigration during the upcoming debate on Wednesday night.

The New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) held a press conference in their Manhattan office today at noon to discuss what they hope to hear from the candidates and describe unprecedented efforts to get out the immigrant vote. Tomorrow, immigrant advocates and supporters are expected to rally outside the debate at Hofstra University asking the candidates to stop “ignoring the 12 million elephants in the room.” Senators McCain and Obama should take this opportunity to break the silence.

Let’s hope that both candidates heed the overwhelming desire for this issue to be addressed.

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