Wednesday, November 01, 2006

could Mitt reframe the discussion on immigration?

In my church I currently have a responsibility working with the Boy Scouts. Tonight the scouts were each speaking 5 minutes to fulfill a merit badge requirement. The topic they were speaking on was illegal immigration.

A few things that come to mind when I think about this topic.
1. It may do well to add to the discussion the importance of forming better relations with the Mexican people (and other immigrants for that matter). This applies not only on a country to country basis, but also individual to individual. Encourage organizations to get American folks to hang out and get to know Mexican folks - and vice versa. This would help us all to better undertand the other culture, and to deal with the issue of illegal immigration in a more understanding way.
2. Invest in educational programs in Mexico. Overall the educational system in Mexico is not that great. If we, as the United States, could somehow help improve the Mexican educational system (in a smart way - not by imposing our ideas on them, but rather by helping them educate their way) it would be a great benefit. In the long-run this would hopefully help improve the political and economic situations there. Also, for the Mexican immigrants who come to the United States, they would better be able to get higher level employment.
3. Perhaps set up some kind of program where Mexican people are invited to come to the United States to learn a trade, learn how to start a business, learn a skill, etc. - then head back to Mexico with a loan to try and set up that business in Mexico.
As to administering these programs - it may be best for them to be run by universities and private businesses, rather than having the feds run them. The federal government does lots of things pretty well. However, whenever anything gets too many federal dollars, chances are it's not going to be run well.

I think if Mitt could focus on these types of solutions - in addition to talking about the plans of building a wall, providing work temporary work visas, and deporting folks - it would make the immigration dialogue more positive and hopeful.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chances are that he's not ready for these issues in early 2007. He'll probably need to get these issues ready when he goes to the Southwest and Texas, but not so much Washington. Only E. Washington is directly affected by lack of workers. Western Washingtonians may pose a problem by believing that he's a Bush follower, but they might be swayed if he DOESN'T say drastic/make foolish commitments.
It would be good advice for Mitt to focus on national issues and issues he has prepped for the media. He can speak to Easterners well, but the northwest is usually fickle when it comes to "how" message is worded or if it is too vague or too "over-promising". Maybe over time he can learn political sensibilities and "the pulse" of Washingtonians as his campaign progresses.

1:00 AM, March 05, 2007  

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