Wednesday, November 15, 2006

This new immigration hardline is a political loser myth.

Politics: Open-border lovers have been pushing this nonsense for a week and hotlineblog at national journal debunks it.

Immigration Lessons From The Midterms? In reviewing the Republicans’ midterm losses, many commentators have criticized GOP’s hawkish, border-enforcement first stand. Some have argued that it cost them seats in Congress. And President Bush has hinted that, with the new Congress, one of his priorities is comprehensive immigration reform involving a guest-worker program. But looking race-by-race, it’s not clear that talking tough on immigration put Republicans at a disadvantage. The most-common races cited are the Scottsdale-based district held by Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ 05) and the open seat race to replace Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-AZ 08). In both those races, the Republicans focused their entire campaigns on immigration -- and it clearly backfired. But running a single-issue campaign is usually a risky proposition, regardless of the issue. Each Republican also had other disadvantages. Graf was pictured on David Duke’s website and had a bare-bones campaign staff. Not long after winning the primary, the NRCC abandoned his campaign. And Hayworth’s district was changing demographically, with more affluent newcomers arriving with a more culturally moderate perspective. But candidates who used immigration as one of the many issues in their campaign repertoire performed quite well. Take Rep.-elect Peter Roskam in IL 06. Advocating lower taxes, talking tough on immigration and advocating a muscular foreign policy were the centerpieces of his successful campaign against Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth (D). Another open-seat winner in the Midwest, Michele Bachmann, used the same strategy. Likewise, Rep. Steve Chabot’s (R-OH 01) focus on immigration proved successful. Against the odds, he defeated John Cranley in a tough statewide environment for Republicans. Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA 06) aired an ad distancing himself from President Bush’s guest worker program. He was the only Philadelphia-area Republican to win. And successful Democratic candidates often co-opted the border security issue from Republicans. Reps.-elect Heath Shuler, Baron Hill, and Brad Ellsworth all supported the House Republicans’ immigration bills. Taking a hard-line on immigration wasn’t necessarily a winner in every district. But it was an important tool for Republicans facing tough races in many parts of the country, particularly in the suburbs. By only looking at Hayworth and Graf – both anomalous situations -- commentators and politicians could be drawing the wrong conclusions about the political ramifications of immigration. [JOSH KRAUSHAAR]

Considering Arizona voters passed four harsh illegal alien ballot measures by huge margins.
While Congressional District 8 rejected the hard-line immigration views of Randy Graf, the state's passage of the four propositions targeting illegal immigration sends a message to the nation that Arizona welcomes a tough stand against illegal entrants, especially in the courts. Passage of Prop. 100 prohibits bail for illegal entrants charged with a serious felony, and Prop. 102 prohibits an undocumented person who wins a civil lawsuit from receiving punitive damages. Likewise, the passage of Prop. 103 hammers home the message that all official business be conducted in English. Prop. 300, which restricts access to public services to illegal immigrants and their children, makes it clear that the majority of voters have no tolerance for the undocumented.

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