Allard - The Udall Position

COMPREHENSIVE REFORMER. Immigration has been a hot-button issue in the campaign. When an undocumented person with a criminal history was accused of killing three people, including a 3-year-old boy, in an automobile accident, Schaffer used the incident to accuse Udall of “doing little on immigration reform.” [AP, 9/10/08] In response, Udall wrote a letter to the Assistant Secretary for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) calling for an investigation into why ICE had not deported the man accused of the crime. [Udall Press Release, 9/12/08]

In a debate, Udall said his immigration position was focused on fixing America’s broken immigration system. He said, “We secure our borders; we put in place a tamper-proof ID card; we ask employers to be a part of the enforcement process…We also have to acknowledge that the workers who are here who are undocumented are adding value to our economy (and that) the large majority of them are here because they want a better life.” [The Denver Post, 8/17/08] In an interview in 2008 Udall stated, “We need to reinforce our security on the borders and then provide a temporary legal path for people who are here, bring them out of the shadows. I think it’s a common-sense approach.” When asked if he thought deporting illegal immigrants would hurt the economy of Colorado, Udall said, “It would really hurt our economies. And that’s why that’s unrealistic. It’s why the Tom Tancredo faction of the Republican Party is out of touch.” He went on to say that moderate Republicans and Democrats favored common-sense reform. [Federal News Service, MSNBC, 8/26/08]

On his campaign website, Udall’s immigration position focuses on solutions to secure the border and creating legal ways for businesses to expand immigrant labor. “Controlling our borders and reforming our immigration policies is one of the nation’s most pressing problems…The solution starts with securing our borders. However, we also must hold employers who hire illegal immigrants accountable, and find a way to deal with the estimated 12-15 million undocumented immigrants already in this country…we need to expand legal channels for immigrant workers to meet the demand for labor in those areas.” [Mark Udall for Congress, accessed 9/18/08]

In 2006, Udall penned an op-ed about immigration, stating, “The 2006 elections also have shown that polarization and extremism make for good headlines but they are not effective tactics for solving problems. With few exceptions, the vast majority of voters in 2006 called for immigration reform that includes a rational guest worker program.” [Editorial; The Denver Post, 11/19/06]