News coverage of the recent ruling on the Arizona anti-immigrant law is re-igniting the debate over comprehensive immigration reform and the need for a federal solution. But as Washington pundits analyze the political implications of the judge’s decision, they are turning to outdated thinking instead of real facts from real elections. Conventional wisdom in Washington has it that the Obama Administration’s lawsuit, and success in court, will hurt congressional Democrats in swing districts and help Republicans mobilize their base. Once again, these experts prove that they have a superficial understanding of the politics of immigration.
The Arizona law and Wednesday’s [July 28] ruling only heightens the public’s desire for a federal immigration solution. While polls show the Arizona law is popular with voters, these same surveys show comprehensive immigration reform is even more popular. The public is hungry for leaders in Washington to solve this problem, and they will reward politicians who cut through the rhetoric to offer real solutions.”
Some points to consider about the politics of immigration:
Conventional wisdom has consistently been wrong: While running on a hard-line immigration stance may work in some Republican primaries, it has not proven to be successful in the vast majority of general election campaigns. Polling in swing districts and states consistently shows that comprehensive immigration reform is supported by a majority of voters because it is a practical solution that increases the tax base and restores order to the system. In 2006 and 2008, comprehensive reform candidates consistently trounced hard-line candidates in close races. An América’s Voice report found that in twenty of twenty-two contested congressional races in 2008, the losers advocated a deportation-only agenda and the winners supported more comprehensive policies. According to the late Richard Nadler, a GOP activist who studied the role of immigration in 2008 House races: “Immigration was a wedge issue benefiting the Democratic Party, but not the GOP.”
The American people have complex views on immigration, and support pragmatic approaches to fixing the problem: Voters want the problem of illegal immigration solved and want a national solution instead of a state-by state approach. A number of recent surveys have shown that while the Arizona immigration law is popular, comprehensive immigration reform enjoys even wider support. Bi-partisan nationwide polling conducted by Lake Research Partners and Public Opinion Strategies found that 60% of
Why Guantanamo hunger strike could be the last
SC: Why did you call your memoir "The General"?
AE: Because I was one of a limited number of prisoners at Guantanamo who spoke English, I was often forced to be an "unofficial leader" by guards and interrogators. They nicknamed me "the general."
SC: How were you released?
AE: I was released ...
Temp agencies, ‘raiteros’ exploit undocumented
Ty Inc. became one of the world's largest manufacturers of stuffed animals thanks to the Beanie Babies craze in the 1990s.
But it has stayed on top partly by using an underworld of labor brokers known as raiteros, who pick up workers from Chicago's street corners and shuttle them to Ty's ...
ASSET Bill: ‘People do believe in humanity’
Moments after Gov. John Hickenlooper signed the ASSET bill at the Student Success Building on the Metropolitan State University Denver campus this week, a beaming President Stephen Jordan went to the microphone and put an exclamation point on an historic event.
“ASSET,” he proclaimed to ...
Citizenship must reflect more humane principles
The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) finds the immigration bill introduced last week a modest start on reform, due to provisions that address family unification and workers’ rights and create a narrow path to citizenship for some immigrants. But much of the bill reproduces many of the ...