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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

Who Has Won the Most Votes in US Senate Electoral History?

Only three of the Top 10 and nine of the Top 50 vote-getters of all time are currently serving in the chamber.

Political Crumbs

Six for Thirteen

Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.


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.


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