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April 05, 2006

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I disagree about the repubs using this to fire up their base. I think it's the opposite. The token opposition is by repubs in competitive districts.

In these purple districts, and those with significant hispanic population, the repubs can come off as moderate and provide a plausible alternative to liberal challengers. And they have the benefit of looking like mavericks against the GOP base.

So the GOP fires up their base in the red districts, and the "opposition" fires up the moderates in the purple districts who might otherwise vote democrat. IOW, there is only the appearance of a republican split, at least until after the election.

No if I can just remember which blog I originally read this from, I would post the link.

There is a real split, and a real fear in the GOP based on what happened in California. Pete Wilson supported an anti-immigrant proposition in 1994. He won re-election, but many Latino immigrants felt threatened, so they became citizens and have voted Democratic ever since. In majority-minority California, hostility to immigrants is less, except among those (mostly African-American) populations who are suffering from loss of low-wage jobs and who see communities like Richmond, CA being transformed demographically. But as with thier social conservatism genrally, these voters aren't going to a GOP who is so hostile to them.

"Ironically, those who live in areas with few immigrants are much more concerned about immigration than those who live in areas with dense immigrant populations. Older, less educated, poorer and financially struggling people also hold dimmer views of immigration, as do evangelicals, a key GOP constituency."

The whipping up of anti-immigrant sentiment on the part of the know-nothing element of the GOP will have the same result as it did in California, and the GOP leadership knows it. They are also whipsawed by their pro-cheap labor business patrons. This is not a good issue for them.

Add this next piece from MP:

Gallup's Frank Newport posted a multi-poll analysis this morning on American's attitudes toward immigration policy. It is similar to some thoughts I posted on Monday but demonstrates even more vividly the wide variation in support for guest worker proposals across different polls. Newport's article is free to all for today, but will disappear behind Gallup's subscription wall after midnight. So read it all, while you can.

The most interesting piece I've read on the whole immigration situation is Douglas Massey's oped in the NYT which contends that the sense of "invasion" clearly felt by some in the US is a product of rolling "border security" crackdowns. I agree with Mimikatz that California points the way on this. And we really have calmed down a lot about our newcomers since 1994.

"But short sighted (and not too bright) conservative Republicans in Congress feel they need a campaign issue to gin up their base."

The Right wing Pugs will make gains on this issue whatever the cockamamy puchased "polls" say. The dems are wholly alienated from their lowwer and middle class base. The Dems and some Pugs are purchased by the wage depression lobbies.

That a Dem cannot even suggest testimony at hearing by economists shows they want to plow this through. Elite media will provide support with positive reviews of Shrub and Jeb.

I think the current immigration debate is something like where the abortion debate is going post-South Dakota. When someone says they want abortion to be illegal and they are asked whether they prefer jail time or just fines for the women, there is a pause. Same with immigration. Trying to think of actual things the country could do is sobering, and most people are not in favor of putting their neighbors in jail for being here even if illegally. When the issue of breaking up families is added, it is even harder. Kids who are citizens by birth can't be deported for being illegals, but their parents or grandparents (sometimes one parent) can. That gives people who really (as opposed to cynically) believe in families some pause.

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