While the two Republicans who’re running for attorney general and secretary of state say the state of Iowa should take steps to crackdown on illegal immigration, the two Democrats who currently hold those offices say it’s a federal issue and a federal solution is needed.
Attorney General Tom Miller says when laws need to be enforced, his office will pursue the cases. “We brought the case on child labor against the AgriProcessors operation up in Postville which was related to immigration. Whenever there’s a law, we’re going to do our best to enforce it,” Miller says. “But this is a federal problem and a national law is necessary. It really cries out for that.”
Brenna Findley, Miller’s Republican opponent, says she supports “what’s behind” a new Arizona law on immigration, but thinks an Iowa law on the subject should be tailored to fit here, since Iowa’s not a border state. Miller says immigration should be addressed on the national, not the state level.
“That is the way out, the only way out of this enormous mess,” Miller says. “You know, people are frustrated about immigration and justifiably so. People are hurt by certain aspects of it and we’re concerned about that. Congress really needs to act here.”
Matt Schultz, the Republican running for secretary of state, says he’d beef up the Iowa secretary of state’s website to help businesses figure out how to check with the federal government to see if a potential employee has a valid Social Security number and is in the country legally. Michael Mauro, the Democrat who is currently serving as Iowa’s secretary of state, says the “E-verify” system Schultz touts is problematic.
“We checked with the Department of Homeland Security. They did their own study…They’re missing one out of two undocumented workers. That’s the program my opponent wants to put in place?” Mauro asks. “I say if they put a program together that does work, that will help, we’ll be happy to put it in place, but the facts are this: the E-verify system’s not working; one of two are falling through the cracks and no other states that I’m aware of — secretary of states’ offices — are even employing it.”
Mauro’s Republican opponent supports Arizona’s immigration crack down and would like to see the Arizona law implemented in Iowa. Mauro says immigration is an issue. “And I think the federal government needs to do a better job of addressing it,” Mauro says.
Mauro and Miller made their comments this morning during taping of the Iowa Public Television program, “Iowa Press” which airs Friday at 7:30 p.m.