Giuliani is not just a former New York mayor who has to answer to the GOP for policies that were benevolent to immigrants. Nearly three decades ago, when he was the third most powerful person in Ronald Reagan's Justice Department, he was also its point man on immigration. In the post of associate attorney general, as well as when he was U.S. Attorney in Manhattan in the late '80s and mayor in the '90s, he established a pro-immigrant record that goes far beyond his already-documented support of health care and other benefits for illegals. And if that doesn't play well with Florida primary voters, neither will the time he took a tough stance on immigrants and wound up being rebuked by federal judgesâ€”in part for his treatment of Cuban refugees.They also have a story about a possible Giuliani personal connection to illegal workers:Who Built Rudy's House in the Hamptons? Giuliani's contractor might not have had a 'hire standard' on illegal labor by Wayne Barrett January 15th, 2008.
The exploitation of immigration as a campaign issue has already shaped the presidential fortunes of three present or onetime frontrunners: John McCain, Hillary Clinton, and Giuliani. McCain's early national lead disappeared with his prominent link to a Bush-backed immigration bill considered by every other GOP presidential hopeful, including Giuliani, to be too welcoming. Clinton's slide began when she tried to take both positions on the question of drivers' licenses for illegals in a primary debate. Giuliani all but abandoned Iowa, meanwhile, where polls indicated that immigration was the highest concern for Republican voters, and where his so-called "sanctuary city" record as mayor was near the top of the list of shifting policy positions that hurt him. Giuliani's desperate declaration in December that, as mayor, he wanted to deport all 400,000 of the city's undocumented immigrants but found himself "stuck" with themâ€”a slight variation on his 1994 observation that undocumented immigrants were the kind of people "we want in this city"â€”became one of the galling contrasts that crippled him in Iowa and diminished his national numbers.village voice > news > Rudy's Immigration Problem by Wayne Barrett