Well, not all the Democrats. Hilary Clinton has backtracked and is now saying she opposes Governor Spitzer's driver's license plan - a plan that would improve public safety and also make it possible for all drivers to get insurance, something that is just as much a form of protection for American victims of accidents as for the drivers. Barack Obama, on the other hand, has come out in support of Governor Spitzer.



Of course, such laws would be unnecessary if we had a functioning immigration system where we had rigorous immigration enforcement coupled with a meaningful way to earn legalization for those here illegally and a workable visa system for employers wanting to bring workers in to the country in the future. Most of the antis lose interest after the first item and many of the pros forget about the first.



Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico is publicly taking on Republican Tom Tancredo and is calling the Republican "an extremist." And he has voiced his support for a New Mexico law permitting unauthorized immigrants to get driver's licenses.





Despite the driver's license flap, Clinton and the rest of the Democrats have been consistent in supporting comprehensive immigration reform that includes rigorous enforcement, a path to legalization for unauthorized immigrants, a guest worker program and more numbers for family and employment-based immigrants. With the exception of Mayor Guiliani and Senator McCain, the GOP candidates have only been supporting more enforcement without the other needed reforms. And McCain recently announced he would no longer support a comprehensive approach due to pressure from the anti-immigrant wing of his party.



And the odds are that the GOP is going to be in quite a bind. Taking the anti-immigration position is necessary to get the party's nomination. But in the general election, they're likely to pay dearly. That's because most Americans rank immigration low on their priority list. Those that are anti-immigration were likely going to vote GOP. But Hispanics care greatly about immigration and the GOP had been making inroads in getting those votes. Now they are likely to be one of the groups that strongly support the Democrats. And the loss of those votes will likely make all the difference in the presidential race and in congressional races around the country.