Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Immigration: The Invisible Issue in the MN US Senate Race?

Bookmark and Share

Illegal immigration continues to be a hot topic nationally, regularly ranking in the Top 5 most important national problems and Top 3 priorities for the U.S. Congress. Not only has the question of how to handle the influx of illegal immigrants that cross the US-Mexican border permeated the national debate during the past year, but immigration has also emerged as a bona fide statewide concern to many Minnesotans. In fact, a July 2006 poll by the Star Tribune found the public to view immigration as the seventh most important problem facing the state of Minnesota.

However, you wouldn't know any of this from Minnesota's U.S. Senate race.

Likely DFL nominee Amy Klobuchar does not specifically address the problem of illegal immigration anywhere on her campaign website. Klobuchar does state the nation must better secure its borders - but only in the context of the war on terror (such as in her speech to the State Democratic Party Convention earlier this year). In her Plan to Keep America Safe, Klobuchar stresses the need to:

"...Implement a comprehensive screening system at the border that is interoperable with FBI databases to stop individuals who pose threats to our security. Let's stop playing politics with border security and get something done... by this I mean passing a bill for the fencing and security measures that has been debated in Congress for way too long."

Is Klobuchar's stated support of the need for 'fencing' and 'stopping individuals' also a way to implicitly seem tough on illegal immigration without actually saying those magic words? (Words that could potentially rile coveted left wing Minnesota voters and interest groups that oppose ending the influx of illegal immigrants across the southern border).

On the other side of the ballot, likely GOP candidate Mark Kennedy is on record stating "Immigration reform will undoubtedly be a major issue of this campaign, providing a major contrast between myself and Amy Klobuchar." But has Kennedy made immigration a major issue in the Senate race? Not yet.

Kennedy does briefly mention illegal immigration on his campaign website, tying the issue to safety and border security, calling for the need to "Protect our borders by passing an immigration reform bill that puts border security first." But Kennedy does not go into any further detail on that issue position.

Despite the vagueness on his website, the truth is Kennedy actually has a hard record of taking a very strong stand against illegal immigration, including support for building a fence on the border, banning criminals from becoming U.S. citizens, increased enforcement of laws against and penalties for employers who hire illegals, requiring new citizens to pass an American history test in English, and demanding new citizens pledge undivided allegiance to the American flag.

But Kennedy does not advertise his support for any of these measures on his campaign website; it's there if you look hard enough, buried in an old news release, but the campaign has obviously adopted a strategy to use imprecise catchphrases ("border security" and "immigration reform") instead of calling attention to his actual tough-on-illegal-immigrants record to Minnesotans.

So it seems on a key national and statewide issue, Minnesota voters will have a choice between one candidate who hasn't really outlined a plan at all, and another candidate who has a plan, but doesn't seem to want the voters to know about it.

Is this immigration politics smart politics?

Previous post: Jim Doyle's Biggest Threat: The Greens or Mark Green?
Next post: Where Have All the 3rd Party Minnesota Candidates Gone?

1 Comment


  • Amy Klobuchar should really address the problems of immagration and border security. It makes it hard for Freshmen In Highschool students to write papers on her when she does not address the issue. Have Her Email.. brunettebabe0918

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

    Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

    Political Crumbs

    Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

    Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


    An Idaho Six Pack

    Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


    more POLITICAL CRUMBS

    Humphrey School Sites
    CSPG
    Humphrey New Media Hub

    Issues />

<div id=
    Abortion
    Afghanistan
    Budget and taxes
    Campaign finances
    Crime and punishment
    Economy and jobs
    Education
    Energy
    Environment
    Foreign affairs
    Gender
    Health
    Housing
    Ideology
    Immigration
    Iraq
    Media
    Military
    Partisanship
    Race and ethnicity
    Reapportionment
    Redistricting
    Religion
    Sexuality
    Sports
    Terrorism
    Third parties
    Transportation
    Voting