One of the great things about blogs is that they provide a forum for experts to provide more detailed information on subjects the media simply lacks the time to cover fully. A great example of that comes in the form of two posts by local immigration attorney Shahid Haque-Hausrath discussing the immigration records of Democratic Attorney General candidates Pam Bucy and Jesse Laslovich.
I believe that the manner in which Pam Bucy handled this situation calls into question her interpretation of the privacy protections of the Montana Constitution, and her willingness to share confidential information with the federal government. These are issues that are important to those who oppose state-level enforcement of immigration laws, but are also important to Montana in many other respects. For instance, this may be of interest to those who are advocating for Montana’s medical marijuana laws.
In summary, I believe that Pam Bucy took conduct that was a very clear violation of the law, wrote new rules to seemingly prohibit the illegal conduct, but also created significant loopholes that would purport to legalize this very same conduct.
In the end, I view this as actually making our confidentiality protections worse — not better. In the interest of bureaucratic administration, I believe Pam Bucy has set aside important privacy considerations under Montana law.
Jesse Laslovich voted on three relevant bills in 2005, four relevant bills in 2007, and five relevant bills in 2009 — for total of 12 bills relating to state-level enforcement of immigration laws.
There were a total of four votes that I would characterize as “incorrect” votes, including one bill that he sponsored. However, as noted above, the bill he sponsored in 2005 did not attempt to create any enforcement mechanism or penalties. Therefore, it is not in quite the same category as the later bills sponsored by Jim Shockley and others.
In the 2007 session, Jesse Laslovich was a swing vote that killed SB 258, which would deny state licenses and license renewal to “illegal aliens.” This was a 25-25 vote.
In the 2009 session, which was Jesse Laslovich’s last session in the Senate, he played an important role on the Senate Judiciary Committee as several of Jim Shockley’s anti-immigrant bills were debated.
I’ll let Shahid’s work speak for itself, but it highlights one of the key challenges in this race: while Laslovich has a very public legislative record, it’s much more difficult to see where Ms. Bucy stands on issues, not because of any obfuscation on her part, but simply because of the jobs she’s held. A couple of well-researched posts like these offer invaluable insight into the values and priorities of the candidates and are well worth your time.