Whatever happened to Immigration, that promised to be one of the major issues of these elections?

Two years ago this was an electrifying problem, drawing attention from both sides, as presidentials strove to reach the best mixture of toughness and generosity.

Even early 2008, some still believed the issue would at least be discussed:

As the presidential campaign moves on, illegal immigration will heat up. Dem­ocratic and Republican presidential candidates will use the issue to seek votes.

Now it’s clear the whole debate never was. In fact, candidates deliberately avoided it:

During three presidential debates, the word “immigration” was uttered only once, according to a check of transcripts posted online by the Commission on Presidential Debates. In that one instance, McCain accused Obama of misrepresenting McCain’s position on the topic. There was no further discussion.

The silence leads to conspiracy theories. The president of the Indiana Federation for Immigration Reform, an anti-immigration group, is straight to the point:

“They aren’t bringing it up. I think both (presidential) candidates are promoting some kind of amnesty and they both know they have an unpopular position, and they don’t want to get a lot of people angry at them.”

I wouldn’t go that far. Obviously economy trumpeted both immigration and Iraq as topics of debate. It seems voters cannot handle more than one topic at a time. It’s ADD, electoral-style.

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