Civics & Politics The Environment Health Economics Social Issues Full Archive
NOW on Demand
Week of 9.29.06

Alien Nation?

This week, NOW looks at how Republican candidates, eager to rally conservative voters, are talking tough on illegal immigration, even if that means bucking the President. Even more surprising, they're doing so in states which have few illegal immigrants.

NOW travels to Indiana to interview politicians, naturalized citizens, and business leaders to see how the politics of immigration is playing out, what people's fears are, and if xenophobia is playing a part in political tactics. One survey has found that people living in areas with few immigrants are much more likely to have a negative view of Hispanics.

Program Resources:
» Video
» Listen to this show [mp3]
» Transcript
» Print
"If you're a Republican Party that's fairing poorly, sometimes you have to win ugly," says Robert Dion, a local political scientist at the University of Evansville, "and in this case, it's stirring up fears about the menace posed by immigrants."

More from NOW:

» Facts & Figures - Undocumented in the U.S.

» America's View of Illegal Immigrants

» State-by-State: Illegal Immigrant populations

» Reporter's Notebook: Maria Hinojosa

This Week's Interview: John Danforth
» Video available above

A former U.S. Senator, United Nations ambassador, and Episcopal priest, John Danforth knows a thing or two about both faith and politics, the intersection of which is the basis for his recently-released book, aptly titled "Faith and Politics: How the 'Moral Values' Debate Divides America and How to Move Forward Together."

Danforth was born in 1936 and attended both law and divinity graduate schools at Yale University. His father, William H. Danforth, founded the Ralston Purina company.

At 32, Danforth was elected Attorney General of Missouri in 1968. Two years later, he was defeated in a close race for the United States Senate, but is partially credited with changing the traditionally Democratic political identity of the state. National success ultimately came in 1976, when Danforth succeeded retiring Senator Stuart Symington. Danforth was reelected in 1982 and in 1988, and retired from the Senate in 1995.

In 1991, Danforth publicly supported his former aide Clarence Thomas as Thomas sought Senate confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court. Thomas was narrowly confirmed. In 1999, Danforth was asked to lead an investigation into the 1993 FBI siege on a religious compound in Waco, Texas.

Danforth was reportedly on a short list to become George W. Bush's Vice-Presidential running mate, a job that eventually went to Dick Cheney. In 2001, he was appointed by President Bush to serve as his special envoy to Sudan. On July 1, 2004, Danforth was sworn in as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Five months later, Danforth resigned from the position, stating in a resignation letter, "Forty-seven years ago, I married the girl of my dreams, and, at this point in my life, what is most important to me is to spend more time with her."

More from NOW:

» Read an excerpt from John Danforth's book "Faith and Politics"

» Perspectives: Religion and Politics

» Separating Church and State

» NOW Religion & Politics Resources

» NOW interview with Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore

» NOW interview with Chris Hedges on Religion and Politics