Democratic Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI), the Democrat U.S. Senate nominee in Michigan, told attendees of a town hall event in Detroit’s Mexicantown neighborhood that immigration reform was not about enforcing America’s laws.
“Immigration reform is not about enforcement,” Peters said in a short video clip obtained by Breitbart News. “It’s about finding a way to fix the problems in our immigration system.”
The event was held April 6, 2013, and was hosted by local pro-amnesty organization One Michigan—before the Senate passed the “Gang of Eight” immigration bill. The organization pushed for that bill and frequently advocates on its Facebook page on behalf of illegal aliens.
This comment could become problematic for Peters, who is losing steam in what previously seemed like a sure bet of a Senate race for Democrats. Republican Terri Lynn Land has been gaining on Peters, as a recent New York Times and CBS News poll put Land up a point over Peters.
Land has been fundraising successfully as well, raking in $3.3 million last quarter, according to the Washington Free Beacon. She bested Peters, who pulled in just under $2 million.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that national Democrats are worried about the seat, and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) has already reserved $6.3 million worth of advertising in Michigan this year in an effort to protect the seat—which is currently held by retiring Democratic Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI).
If Republicans on a national level stop fighting with each other over immigration, it could become a powerful weapon with which to beat Democrats in elections.
A new poll from the Associated Press and GfK Public Affairs and Corporate Communications shows that immigration is now President Barack Obama’s worst issue. A whopping 68 percent disapprove of the president’s handling of immigration, and just 31 percent—down from 38 percent a couple months—approve of how he’s handling it.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, has long argued Republicans should unite against amnesty to beat the Democrats with the message.
“The GOP needs to flip the immigration debate on its head,” Sessions wrote in a July 2013 memo he distributed to the GOP. “The same set of GOP strategists, lobbyists, and donors who have always favored a proposal like the Gang of Eight immigration bill argue that the great lesson of the 2012 election is that the GOP needs to push for immediate amnesty and a drastic surge in low-skill immigration. This is nonsense.”
With the border crisis looming—and Congress and the administration in a free-fall over it—Sessions remains firm in his resolve for Republicans to use immigration to beat the Democrats heading into the midterms.
Interestingly enough, the not-so-conservative ex-Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA)—who’s now running in New Hampshire against incumbent Democrat Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)—seems to be the first Republican to get the joke. Brown aired what’s been thus far a successful hit on Shaheen, attacking her for standing alongside President Obama in support of amnesty for illegal aliens over support for American citizens struggling in the lagging Obama economy.
If that success continues, Michigan may be the next place Republicans target Democrats with the immigration issue.