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Election Dramatically Shifted Immigration Balance of Power in Congress Toward Enforcement & Reductions


(NOTE: Be sure to look at our TV page with all the election results for every congressional race, and blog items from our 10-hour live coverage of the returns Tuesday:   http://www.numbersusa.tv )

The cause of immigration enforcement and numerical reductions was a huge winner in Tuesday's elections, promising that immigration issues will finally be addressed as job issues in the next Congress.
I'm not sure there has been a Congress since 1924 -- and certainly not in the last 50 years -- that had a membership more interested in reductions in overall illegal and legal immigration than will be the one that was elected yesterday. 

I know that these are big claims. 

Many observers may have missed this dramatic shift because of the one massively publicized counter-example of amnesty-champion Sen. Harry Reid keeping his seat from immigration-enforcement advocate Sharon Angle in Nevada.  Certainly, immigration was a hot issue in that race, and both candidates made it clear that they represented opposite positions.  In that case, voters chose the high-immigration candidate over the low-immigration candidate, although several other major factors were involved.
Reid's was a case of a pro-amnesty incumbent keeping his seat, and lots of them did.  Nonetheless, there are a lot of examples in which pro-amnesty seats did get filled by anti-amnesty candidates.  On the other hand, [h][c:red]I can't find any example of the opposite happening -- of an anti-amnesty seat being taken by a pro-amnesty candidate.[-h][-c]
To analyze the results, NumbersUSA in advance of the elections assigned every current Member of Congress and every candidate to one of three categories based on extensive review of their actions, their official stances and statements in the media. The three categories were:

  • MORE IMMIGRATION:  Support high current levels of new foreign workers, with many favoring letting illegal aliens keep their jobs
  • UNCOMMITTED:   Immigration positions not clear
  • LESS IMMIGRATION:  Favor stronger enforcement to open up illegal-alien-held jobs for unemployed Americans, with many favoring reductions in legal immigration, too
    Here is what voters nationwide did on Tuesday:

1. They wiped out a net of three dozen More-Immigration seats in the House.
2. They knocked the number of More-Immigration seats down to about 170, far below the 218 majority needed to pass legislation, seemingly eradicating any possibility of "comprehensive immigration reform" being considered in the next Congress.
3. They didn't just go for mild enforcement types. They filled about two dozen of those current More-Immigration seats with Less-Immigration candidates who made explicit promises not only to push stringent enforcement measures but also promised to work to eliminate several categories of legal immigration.
4. The number of elected Less-Immigration candidates promising stepped-up immigration enforcement looks like it will fall just short of the 218 majority. But most of the final 50 elected candidates classified as Uncommitted appear likely to lean toward more enforcement if presented opportunities and requirements to vote on it. There is no question that a solid pro-enforcement, bi-partisan majority will exist in the new House.

1. Five or six of the Senate's most aggressive More-Immigration Members were replaced by Less-Immigration candidates.
2.  That shift puts the More-Immigration bloc about 10 votes short of stopping a filibuster and creates a virtual 50-50 deadlock in the Senate.


ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA

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