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Illegal Immigration Issue Hits Minnesota While Bill Moves Through Congress

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As Congress attempts to push a controversial immigration bill through Capitol Hill, the issue of illegal immigration came to the forefront in Minnesota this week. More than two-dozen individuals in a prostitution ring were indicted on Monday by federal authorities after arrests made over the weekend. The indictment claims females were brought to Minnesota from Central America—many of whom were illegal immigrants. The defendants were charged with several counts, including conspiracy and various federal criminal statutes originating under the Commerce Clause.

The arrests were made in primarily Hispanic neighborhoods in the Twin Cities by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) wing of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security—arrests that later engendered protests against ICE by some members of the Hispanic community.

Minnesotans en masse, however, have largely been supportive of law and order measures in dealing with the nation's illegal immigration problem. In a survey taken a year ago, when the talk of amnesty came to Capitol Hill, nearly three times as many Minnesotans believed it was more important to control the border first (65 percent) rather than debate new rules for immigration (23 percent) (Rasmussen, April 2006).

In fact, even though any child born in the United States is eligible to become a U.S. citizen—regardless of the citizenship status of his parents—nearly twice as many Minnesotans believe a child borne of a women who enters the United States as an illegal alien should not be given automatic citizenship (56 to 29 percent) (Rasmussen, April 2006).

In the meantime, the state and the country waits to see whether or not new legislation in Congress that establishes a 'pathway to citizenship' for illegal immigrants becomes law in the coming months.

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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.


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