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

    Which States Own the Best Track Record in Backing Eventual GOP Presidential Nominees?

    Nine states (each with primaries) have an unblemished record in voting for the eventual Republican nominee since 1976 - and not all host contests on the back end of the calendar.

    Political Crumbs

    Evolving?

    When Scott Walker "punted" back in February after being asked if he was comfortable with the idea of evolution he added, "That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in one way or the other." However, it may very well be a question that is asked at one of the upcoming GOP debates this year. In South Carolina during the first GOP debate in 2012, FOX News' Juan Williams asked Tim Pawlenty, "Do you equate the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution as the basis for what should be taught for our nation's schools?" Pawlenty replied, "There should be room in the curriculum for study of intelligent design" but that it was up to the local school districts if it should be in a science class or comparative theory class. At the fourth Republican debate held in California, Jon Huntsman addressed the GOP becoming "anti-science" thusly: "Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I'm saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can't run from science. We can't run from mainstream conservative philosophy."


    73 Months and Counting

    January's preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was once again lower than Wisconsin's 5.0 percent. That marks the 73rd consecutive month in which Minnesota has boasted a lower jobless rate than its neighbor to the east dating back to January 2009 including each of the last 67 months by at least one point. The Gopher State has now edged Wisconsin in the employment border battle for 204 of the last 216 months dating back to February 1997. Wisconsin only managed a lower unemployment rate than Minnesota for the 12 months of 2008 during this 18-year span.


    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