Illegal immigration dominates

The second of the “debates” featuring the three Iowa Republicans who’re running for governor this year lasted 90 minutes and the topic of illegal immigration dominated the forum.  The third question of this past Saturday’s debate — asking the candidates to name a service the state provides which they would cut — prompted all three to say denying services to illegal immigrants would save the state millions.  Later, a series of questions about illegal immigration allowed the trio to expand on the topic.  One question was about whether the children of illegal immigrants should be able to pay the cheaper in-state tuition rate at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa.  All three said the children of illegal immigrants should not pay the cheaper rate.  After the debate, all three said that includes prospective students who were born here in the U.S., which means they’re considered a U.S. citizen.

Cedar Rapids Gazette columnist Todd Dorman was on the panel of journalists who asked the questions Saturday afternoon and he offered these observations after the eventDes Moines Register columnist Kathie Obradovich was in the back of the room, sitting right beside me on press room, watching the debate and this is her take.  Dave Price from WHO-TV in Des Moines was there, blogging.  If you missed my live blog, it’s here.

The event was held in Cedar Rapids and sponsored by the Iowa Broadast News Association.  Here’s news coverage of the debate in the hometown Cedar Rapids Gazette and here’s the story in Sunday’s Des Moines Register.  Here’s the Associated Press story.  You may watch the 90-minute debate here, on IPTV’s website.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.