April 30, 2005

IMMIGRATION IS A BIG ISSUE, AND IT’S GETTING BIGGER: Arnold Schwarzenegger has weighed in on illegal immigration, and he doesn’t seem to be backing down:

On Thursday, Schwarzenegger said on a Los Angeles radio show that the Minuteman Project, which has been patrolling the Mexican border in Arizona in an attempt to prevent illegal crossings, has been doing “a terrific job,” and he credited the volunteers for reducing the flow of entries, though he provided no data.

Schwarzenegger, who immigrated to the United States from Austria more than 25 years ago, softened his comments only slightly Friday. He said he is a strong proponent of immigration, “but you’ve got to do it in a legal way.” He said he favors proposals for a guest worker program that would allow some Mexicans to work in the United States and an opportunity, over time, to apply for citizenship.

Neighborhood watch

But the governor again expressed support for the Minutemen, who have been denounced by some, including President Bush, as vigilantes trying to take the law into their own hands. Schwarzenegger compared them to neighborhood patrol groups, in which citizens work with police to prevent crimes.

As I mentioned before, I have several legal immigrants in my family, and they’re pretty resentful of illegals who ignore all the rules. I suspect that Arnold feels a bit that way himself, and I think he’s in a position to draw the distinction between legal and illegal immigration more clearly than many other politicians.