Our new book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. Among other things, it discusses state and congressional elections.
Annie Karni and Luke Broadwater at NYT:
House Republicans are planning to use an oversight hearing next week to attack the Biden administration on its immigration policies, according to a memo obtained by The New York Times that offers a road map for how the G.O.P. intends to further weaponize an issue that is already a main thrust of their midterm campaign message against Democrats.
The detailed, 60-page guidance memo includes misleading and provocative talking points that seek to portray migrants and refugees as perpetrators of gruesome crimes, especially those involving sexual assault, echoing the language that former President Donald J. Trump used to denigrate immigrants. It also argues that the Biden administration has been lax on illegal immigration, seeking to put Democrats on the defensive on the issue.
It comes as Democrats are growing increasingly concerned that President Biden’s immigration policies, including the recent decision to lift pandemic-era border restrictions next month, could pose a political liability for them ahead of the midterm elections.
The memo — which is marked “CONFIDENTIAL — FOR INTERNAL USE ONLY” — repeatedly insinuates that immigrants could be sex offenders, highlighting a handful of arrests at the southwestern border and of Afghan evacuees. It also misrepresents a Biden administration policy designed to humanely enforce immigration laws as one that would bar law enforcement from surveilling sex offenders near schoolyards.
Fears over Title 42 are only one element of the Republicans’ messaging. Republicans have sought to tie illegal immigration to other potent themes like voter fraud and crime. Allegations of undocumented migrants voting in large numbers have been repeatedly disproved. Studies have found that migrants commit crime at lower rates than native-born citizens.
Republicans have long used immigration as a political weapon – with mixed results. In 2018, they lost the House in a wave election fueled in part by fury over Trump’s hardline policies that separated migrant children from their parents. The same year they expanded control in the Senate.
The political winds have reversed. Republicans are heavily favored to take the House, and possibly the Senate. The national mood has soured on Biden and the Democrats as concerns over the economy and inflation deepen.
But even as economic discontent dominates political debate, polling suggests immigration remains a pressing issue, particularly for Republicans. Four in 10 Americans, and nearly 70% of Republicans, say they worry a “great deal” about illegal immigration, according to a Gallup survey.
During a tour of the border in Texas last week, the House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, chided a reporter for asking about his false claim that he never urged Trump to resign after the January 6 insurrection – comments captured by an audio recording.
“After all this, that’s what you want to ask?” he said. “I don’t think that’s what the American people are asking. I think they want to know about what’s going to happen here and how we’re going to secure the border.”