From the Arkansas to New Hampshire Senate races, to the Maine governor’s race, Republicans are attacking Democrats on “amnesty,” while suggesting it’s the root cause of the current border crisis.
According to the Wall Street Journal, “Republicans cite the arrival of tens of thousands of unaccompanied Central American children in recent months to argue that Democrats are supporting bad immigration policy. A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found 64% disapprove of the U.S. response to the border crossings.”
Until recently, immigration had surfaced as an issue only in Republican primaries, and mostly in border states, said Elizabeth Wilner of Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group, which provides research on political ads.
Two weeks ago, New Hampshire Senate candidate Scott Brown became the first GOP candidate to raise the issue in general-election ads, Ms. Wilner said.
Another GOP Senate candidate, Terri Lynn Land of Michigan, joined in last week, airing grainy images of border crossings and accusing her Democratic rival of “playing Washington politics.” And Arkansas Senate candidate Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) started running a TV spot attacking Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor over immigration. “Chaos and crime. Washington made the mess,” declares the ad from Mr. Cotton.
In state after state, on point after point, the national mood has shifted from one favoring a path to citizenship, to one that views border security and even deportation of illegals as a priority.
In the recent Wall Street Journal poll, 51% said the children should be returned immediately to their home country because allowing them to stay will encourage more illegal immigration and burden public resources. Forty-three percent said the U.S. should let the children–who could be in danger if they return–to stay.
With more and more people beginning to pay attention to the news and upcoming mid-terms as Summer comes to a close, the numbers are likely to only go higher when it comes to support for serious border security and a stronger immigration policy, as a whole.
In a recent CNN/ORC International poll, some 51% said the government should focus on securing the border, while 45% said it was more important to allow illegal immigrants with jobs to become legal residents. That marked a shift from February, when 54% said illegal immigrants with jobs should be eligible for legal status, while 41% called for greater border security.