Rudy: Illegal Immigration Not a Crime

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Sep 08, 2007 7:03 PM
Rudy Giuliani is making a big mistake.

This quote about illegal immigration from today's Washington Post will show you what I mean:

"It's not a crime," Giuliani said Friday. "I know that's very hard for people to understand, but it's not a federal crime."

Giuliani's comments came in an interview with CNN Headline News and
radio talk-show host Glenn Beck.

"I was U.S. attorney in the Southern district of New York," he said. "So believe me, I know this. In fact, when you throw an immigrant out of the country, it's not a criminal proceeding. It's a civil proceeding."
Ok -- Maybe Rudy is right...technically. But what does being right get him?

Elections aren't about showing how smart you are.  And in this instance, it seems like Rudy is actually using a technicality to advocate a politically unpopular position (like the "fact" that illegal immigration isn't a felony).

What is more, Giuliani is arguing logic and facts, but illegal immigration is actually a deeply emotional issue. And in politics, emotion always beats facts.  He should be talking about how this issue affects Americans on an emotional level -- not arguing over
technical facts (that's the lawyer in him, by the way).

So while Rudy may be technically right, in arguing semantics; he is really winning the battle but losing the war.  Republican Primary voters know that illegal immigration is, well, ILLEGAL.

By the way, I see this happen to candidates all the time.  They become so obsessed with winning the argument, that they lose track of winning the election. 

A wise man once said, "don't get mad, don't get even, get ahead."  That's a lesson every candidate ought to learn.