Palin Talks Immigration for the First Time -- Doesn't Say Much

Editor's Note: In her first interview with Spanish-language media, Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin talked with Univision anchor Jorge Ramos this week. It was the first time Palin has answered questions about immigration, but it is still unclear where she stands, notes La Opinión political editor Pilar Marrero. Marrero writes an election blog in Spanish at

LOS ANGELES -- In her first interview with the Spanish-language media, Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin answered questions about immigration for the first time.

It’s a subject the Alaska governor has never mentioned before. But listening to what she said didn’t clarify much. Her answers were very cautious and were designed, like those of McCain, to take a middle road that leaves their specific immigration reform policy unclear.

Palin told Univision’s Jorge Ramos that it would be impossible to deport 12 million undocumented immigrants, saying that "not only economically is that just an impossibility but that's not a humane way anyway to deal with the issue that we face with illegal immigration."

Asked whether she would support an "amnesty," she said, "Not total amnesty. You know, people have got to follow the rules. They've got to follow the bar, and we have got to make sure that there is equal opportunity and those who are here legally should be first in line for services being provided and those opportunities that this great country provides."

In another part of the interview, however, Palin said that she supports a path to citizenship for the undocumented. "I understand why people would want to be in America. To seek the safety and prosperity, the opportunities, the health that is here. It is so important that yes, people follow the rules so that people can be treated equally and fairly in this country."

Palin lamented the fact that the raids separate parents and children but said she would not dare to say that the raids should be stopped. Rather, she said, it is best to review them on case by case basis and consider the ramifications of every action.

Given these responses, it is unclear whether Palin favors immigration reform, and how she would resolve the issue of the undocumented by first dealing with those who are here legally, since one issue has nothing to do with the other.

I assume she meant those who are waiting to migrate legally, but I don’t think her message came across clearly.

She did take a clear stand on the subject of driver’s licenses for the undocumented, with a clear NO, which is similar to John McCain's position. McCain, curiously, has not used this issue against Barack Obama –- who did support licenses -- as other Republicans surely would have.

The interview was aired during the broadcast of "Aquí y Ahora" (Here and Now), Tuesday night, on Univision Network and will be broadcast again during "Al Punto," this Sunday at 10:00 a.m. / 9:00 a.m. Central. Read the English transcript.

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