Photo: Mitch Daniels
No wonder Governor Mitch Daniels hasn’t said if he will sign Senate Bill 590 or not.
Support Senate Bill 590, which would require state and local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration laws, and Daniels will be going against business and university leaders who oppose the bill.
Oppose the bill, and he’s standing against key forces in the Republican Party, including tea party activists whose support he will need if he runs for president in 2012. With an eye to the White House, his pending decision is drawing nationwide interest.
Daniels speaks fluent Spanish. His office maintains a Spanish-language website and he’s held a news conference in Spanish. When pressed on his views during a stop in Lafayette last week, Daniels said he’s “pro-immigration.”
But he also said the nation’s laws “need to be enforced.” “I don’t understand the argument that they should not,” Daniels said, “as long as it doesn’t interfere with the enforcement of our own laws.”
“The only thing that unites America are our ideals and our language. I am pro-immigration, but I have said to immigrants often in their own language—Spanish—that to me the terms of the arrangement ought to be obey the law, provide for yourself and speak and learn the language. Or make sure your children do,” he said. “And, you know, I always get agreement from new Americans about that.”
“The bill’s been changing and probably will some more,” he said. “So I’m going to wait and see if there’s a final version and what it looks like before I make that decision” Said Daniels.