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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

Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

Political Crumbs

Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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