Presidential Candidates' Key Immigration Advisers
Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain: McCain's Hispanic outreach director is Juan Hernandez, who is also a passionate advocate for migrants' rights. Hernandez became the first U.S.-born member of Mexico's cabinet when former President Vicente Fox appointed him as head of the President's Office for Mexicans Abroad. Hernandez's position with the McCain campaign has generated controversy on conservative blogs. McCain was asked about Hernandez's role in the campaign at a town hall meeting in January 2008.
According to the campaign Web site, McCain also has appointed an advisory board to counsel him on issues important to Hispanics. Its members are primarily from Florida, New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona.
Democratic Illinois Sen. Barack Obama: Obama is being advised about immigration by three academics at the University of California-Davis School of Law who focus on immigrant rights and social justice. Associate Dean Kevin Johnson has argued that more open borders would be better for the economy and national security. The other advisers are Bill Hing, a professor of law and Asian-American studies, and acting professor Jennifer Chacon.
According to Obama's campaign, he also receives immigration advice from former U.S. Secretary of Transportation and Energy Federico Pena, Stanford Law School professor Mariano-Florentino Cuellar, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, himself a former candidate for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.
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