Despite quite a bit of research, I've been unable to come up with any interest group ratings or statements from Sarah Palin on immigration policy. The only evidence as to Gov. Palin's thoughts on immigration is indirect and second-hand. From the available evidence, Sarah Palin appears to be neutral on the issue. If she does have a strong opinon, she has been pretty quiet about it, both in word and deed.
Interest Group Ratings:
Project Vote Smart lists no interest group ratings for Gov. Palin on any issues.
OnTheIssues is usually a fairly good resource for finding candidate positions, but their record on Sarah Palin and immigration says:
No stance on record.
That's not to say there's no evidence whatsoever as to Palin's point-of-view. There is some evidence, but all of it is indirect. (READ MORE BELOW)
Laura Ingraham claims to know, and she says:
"[Sarah Palin is] not for comprehensive reform, I can tell you that right now. She’s sick to death of this immigration nonsense in the United States."
Evidence from Alaska's Immigration Policies under Gov. Palin:
Laura Ingraham's statements are encouraging, but the policies of the Alaska state government and localities have largely equated to looking the other way on illegal immigration.
Alaska's Sanctuary Cities:
Lou Dobbs notes that at least two of Alaska's cities have been officially designated as "sanctuary cities":
"An August 14, 2006 report produced by the Congressional Research Service listed 31 cities and counties that have 'don't ask, don't tell' sanctuary policies in place. They [include] Anchorage, Alaska [and] Fairbanks, Alaska...
Alaska and Oregon both have state-wide policies that forbid state agencies from using resources to enforce federal immigration law."
Apparently, this is by design from the highest levels. In fact, a resolution to that effect was passed in the Alaska state legislature in 2003:
"([Alaska] House Joint Resolution 22 - May 2003) Establishes that state agencies and instrumentalities may not use state resources or institutions for the enforcement of federal immigration laws, which are the responsibility of the federal government."
It's not clear whether Gov. Palin has ever weighed in, pro or con, on Alaska's sanctuary policies.
Freedom Folks has more on this.
Mexican Consulate in Anchorage:
The Mexican government recently announced the opening of a consulate in Anchorage to serve the growing local population of Mexican citizens. I have found no record of a statement by Gov. Palin on this development, or any indication whether she supported or opposed it.
That said, there's nothing wrong with the Mexican government building a consulate in Alaska. The suspicion is, however, that a large proportion of Mexicans making use of such a consulate are not in the country legally.
Alaska Drivers' Licenses for Illegals:
As in many states, there has been an ongoing fight in Alaska over drivers' licenses for illegals. A bill banning drivers' licenses for illegals passed the Alaska state senate in 2003,
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The state Senate on Friday approved a bill that tightens the standards for getting a driver's license by requiring applicants prove they are in the country legally and by placing time limits on licenses for legal aliens, like foreign students.
It does not appear, however, that the measure passed into law. In any event, Palin's DMV subsequently tightened the administrative regulations on drivers' licenses, thereby giving rise to a lawsuit by some folks who found the new restrictions inconvenient.
The new restrictions were not, however, enough for at least some members of the legislature, who tried again recently to enact a ban into the statutory law:
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Despite two unsuccessful pushes, Assemblyman Paul Bauer is again putting an item on Tuesday's agenda that addresses the rights of illegal immigrants in Alaska.
The East Anchorage representative is proposing a resolution supporting two bills before the state Legislature that require applicants to show proof of residency before they can get a driver's license.
Enforcement of Alaska Law on Illegal Workers:
I discovered that there is at least one Alaska Statute prohibiting illegal aliens from employment in the commercial fishing industry:
Sec. 16.05.905. Activities by aliens prohibited.
(a) Alien persons not lawfully admitted to the United States are prohibited from engaging in commercial fishing activities or taking marine mammals in the territorial waters of the state as they presently exist or may be extended in the future.
(b) An alien person who violates (a) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction is punishable by a confiscation and forfeiture of the fishing vessel used in the violation, or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by fine of not more than $10,000, or by all or any two of the foregoing punishments.
I have not yet uncovered any information as to whether Gov. Palin took action to enforce these rules.
Gov. Palin's Vetoes:
Project Vote Smart identifies the following vetoes by Gov. Palin. None appears to directly impact immigration. It is not clear whether this is a complete list of Gov. Palin's vetoes:
SB 221 2008-2009 State Capital Budget IV 2008-05-22 HB 310 2008-2009 Operating Budget IV 2008-04-03 SB 256 2008-2009 Supplemental Appropriations IV 2007-07-03 SB 53 State of Alaska's FY 2008 Enacted Budget IV
Gov. Palin's Administrative Orders:
Sarah Palin took office in December of 2006. The Administrative Orders listed below were issued on her watch. None of them appears to have any direct connection to immigration policy:
AO 242 Directing the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Revenue to assist entities in pursing development of an economically and technically viable liquefied natural gas project in this state.
AO 241 Establishes the Alaska Psychiatric Institute Advisory Board in the office of the Commissioner of the Department of Health and Social Services.
AO 240 Re-establishing the Alaska Marine Transportation Advisory Board in the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.
AO 239 Authorizing disaster relief funds for the city of Kivalina sea storm disaster in Sept 2007.
AO 238 Establishing the Alaska Climate Change Sub-Cabinet.
AO 237 Establishes the Executive Branch Working Group to address issues concerning recruitment and retention of state employees in the executive branch.
AO 236 Establishes the Alaska council on the Homeless in the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation.
AO 235 Revokes Administrative Order # 207: On January 22, 2003 the Department of Corrections was reorganized by Administrative Order # 207. The department has found that the reorganization specified in that Order no longer reflects effective and efficient management. Through the revocation, the department may then use existing law and management strategies to reorganize in order to respond to its changing management needs.
AO 234 Designating the Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources as coordinator of oversight activities over oil and natural gas activities on state oil and natural gas units and leases. Creates the Petroleum Systems Integrity Office within the Department of Natural Resources.
AO 233 Establishing the Alaska Marine Transportation Advisory Board in the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities
AO 232 Establishing the Alaska Health Care Strategies Planning Council
Third Party Analysis:
I'm apparently not the only one looking for information and coming up empty-handed. One example:
There is absolutely no stance or action on illegal immigration recorded on Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin anywhere in statements or press releases. We have absolutely no idea where she stands on the border fence, birthright citizenship, workplace enforcement, sanctuary cities and in general, amnesty.
Immigration: Being that her state only borders Canada and is thousands of miles from the Mexican border, Palin has not often expressed her views publicly on illegal immigration.
The Verdict on Palin and Immigration:
It appears that immigration was an issue that Gov. Palin largely steered clear of while in office. Given Alaska's sparse population and seasonal labor needs, such an approach likely conformed to the point of view of her constituents. There is little evidence of much public pressure in Alaska on the immigration issue. Thus, it is perhaps not surprising that the state's governor appears to have let a sleeping dog lie.