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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

What’s the Political Strategy Behind the Immigration Push?



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Has anyone seen any polls of Arizonans that significantly contradicts the Rasmussen poll showing 70 percent of likely voters in the state support their tough new law on illegal immigration, and only 23 percent oppose it?

I see the Democrats beating the drum about this law quite a bit; is the idea that voters in other states will find it xenophobic, horrific, etc.?

Do opponents of this new law really think that Americans will change their minds if confronted with “refried bean swastikas?” (I didn’t know Godwin’s law came as a side dish.) Is the electorate supposed to recoil in horror at an MSNBC headline declaring that “law makes it a crime to be an illegal immigrant”?

Sure, illegal immigration is a bit less of a hot-button issue than the last big push in 2007; since then we’ve had a horrific multi-year recession that has probably persuaded some illegal immigrants that there aren’t as many opportunities in the United States as there used to be. But we can’t count on the administration’s abysmal economic policies to act as a de facto border control forever. And as many have noted, this isn’t exactly a roaring recovery.

The last immigration bill couldn’t get through, even with some sense of bipartisan support, with backing from President Bush, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, etc. How much more appetite will we see nationally in a poorer economy, and with no real Republican support, on the heels of defying public opinion on health care.


Tags: Barack Obama , John McCain , Lindsey Graham


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