In Arizona, GOP finds the issue of immigration no help at polls
Now its a good article and it shows that the Dems are trying to court what is called the "anti illegal" vote. But this is telling: Getting tough on illegal immigration is a winner in Arizona. Yet the issue is not playing out as House Republican leaders planned six months ago, when they bet their majority that a hard-line, no-compromise stance would rescue them in a brutal election climate dominated by the Iraq war and corruption.
With Tuesday's election days away, in districts where illegal immigration is Topic A, Republican hardliners are the candidates in trouble here. As many as three GOP House seats are in jeopardy, including that of six-term incumbent J.D. Hayworth, whose race has slid from shoo-in to toss-up.
The fire-breathing Hayworth, a staple of conservative talk shows and author of the border-security tract "Whatever It Takes" (Chapter One: "Overrun"), is in the battle of his career for the Phoenix suburbs against mild-mannered Democrat Harry Mitchell, an avuncular former mayor of Tempe who supports a guest worker program and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already in the country.
In Tucson (Pima County), the open-seat district that spans the nation's busiest corridor for immigrants and drug trafficking, card-carrying Minuteman Randy Graf is expected to lose to pro-guest-worker Democrat Gabrielle Giffords......think people realize that it's just not as simple as just rounding people up, sending them back, and sealing off the border," Mitchell said over lunch in Tempe, where he is so beloved that the city erected a 35-foot statue of him. "I think there's some sentiment for the fence," but "at the same time you need to be working on a guest worker program with employer sanctions."
Mitchell said a fence ignores underlying economic forces. "The illegal immigrants are not coming over here because the border is porous," he said. "They're coming over because there are jobs."
Democrats contend that House GOP leaders blundered last spring when they decided to refuse to negotiate with the Senate on its immigration bill -- sponsored by wildly popular Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain and backed by Bush -- that offered a legalization program for the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants now in the country and a guest worker program for new arrivals.
Instead, House leaders denounced the Senate bill as amnesty and held dozens of hearings across the country highlighting the virtues of a border crackdown.
The result, however, was that only the fence bill passed. Much as Arizonans like fences, virtual or physical, many do not believe barriers alone will stop the tide of people.
Even Minutemen gathered to hear Graf debate Giffords in Sierra Vista, a conservative town near Arizona's southeastern border, said fences have limits, pointing to the rugged mountains towering over the town.
"You can't put a fence in there, that's for sure," said Gordon Cruger, a new resident of Sierra Vista.
I am not trying to rub this in but I have been screaming this forever. Go to the Pink Flamingo(whom you should visit every day) on my links. She is there and no doubt she is seeing the same thing. But please fellow Republicans listen to these words:Matt Salmon, chairman of the Arizona GOP and a former member of Congress, conceded that the House plan was flawed. "It was a good strategy, but there needed to be more accomplished," he said. "There needed to be a more comprehensive immigration reform package installed."
Democrats have exploited GOP divisions, fending off.After this election serious questions must be asked. No matter how mad it makes Lou Dobbs
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