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

    Is There a Presidential Drag On Gubernatorial Elections?

    Only five of the 20 presidents to serve since 1900 have seen their party win a majority of gubernatorial elections during their administrations, and only one since JFK.

    Political Crumbs

    Strike Three for Miller-Meeks

    Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.


    Larry Pressler Wins the Silver

    Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


    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