Tag Archives: elizabeth dole

Who says Immigration wasn’t an Election Issue?

America’s Voice has published a detailed analysis of the immigration ads used during the 2008 election year. The conclusion? Using immigration as a wedge issue was a colossal failure. 

Check out the full report here. And be sure to visit the site to vote for the worst anti-immigrant ad of 2008. Deciding which is the worst will be a tough call – there are so many awful ones to choose from.

I think that my personal favorite was the ad that Elizabeth Dole produced to demonize her opponent in North Carolina, Kay Hagan. According to America’s Voice.

While Hagan embraced some of the same immigration enforcement policies as Dole, according to her campaign web site she also supported a “practical solution that is fair to taxpayers and addresses the problem at its roots: by strengthening the borders, enforcing and upgrading laws that crack down on employers who knowingly hire illegal workers, and eliminating the shadow economy that drives down wages and working conditions. If North Carolina’s farmers and seasonal businesses are having trouble finding the help they need, Kay would support the reform of guest-worker programs to ensure farmers and businesses are able to meet their needs legally and stay competitive while protecting American workers’ jobs.” 

Sounds entirely sensible to me. And yet, Liddy Dole ran the advertisement below, painting Hagan as an enemy of the American People.

As you might expect, Dole lost. More proof that Americans want a common sense approach to immigration that doesn’t rely on hateful and hyperbolic rhetoric.

Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric Doesn’t Win Elections

Another reflection for this post-election morning is this: the nativist tactic of using hate speech and language of division to promote immigration as a wedge issue is officially a FAILURE. From ImmigrationProf Blog (and because I couldn’t have put it any better myself):

594px-lady_liberty_cracked_-_julio_aguileraElection 2008 is history.  Barack Obama wins.  The effort at an October surprise with the “news” of his “illegal alien” aunt fails.  And candidates with anti-immigrant platforms lost in races for the U.S. Congress.

A year ago, with the relatively recent demise of comprehensive immigration reform in the U.S. Congress, it looked like immigration might dominate the 2008 Presidential election.  However, with the Wall Street cataclysm hitting its peak weeks before the election, that is not how it worked out.

Immigration was a non-issue in the Obama-McCain presidential debates and was rarely mentioned on the campaign trail by the candidates or the voters.  It most definitely was not the issue that gripped Joe the Plumber on election day.

And candidates who tried to play the anti-immigration card failed to get much traction on the issue. 

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VIDEO: Elizabeth Dole Gets Desperate

With Republicans scrambling to maintain a grip on the already waivering power of the GOP, Immigration has emerged as the new and trendy wedge issue. By capitalizing on an already illogical fear and hatred of immigrants that is marring our national debate on the issue, candidates are hoping to gain support with anti-immigrant rhetoric.

Senator Elizabeth Dole, from North Carolina, has recently bought her first campaign media spot and produced the video below.

Dole is obviously counting on the immigration debate to bolster support in NC… in spite of the fact that many already know this tactic will self-destruct…

The ad, which seems to imply that immigrant=criminal, fails to take into account the impact that a mass arrest and deportation strategy would have on the already sagging economy in North Carolina. As a North Carolinian, I understand the amount of immigrants that work to support my home state’s economy and the number of families that are there working towards a better life.