Arizona, microcosm of views on immigration: candidates positions

The Christian Science Monitor ran an extensive report on how the immigration issue is playing out among Nov. 7 political; candidates. Bottom line: immigration is a big issue, but cutting both ways. Read this about polling results:
“Our surveys show that immigration is the most important issue for likely voters in this state,” says Fred Solop, a political scientist at Northern Arizona University and director of the Social Research Laboratory there. But voters aren’t distinguishing between competing proposals, he adds: “They just want something to be done.”
And read this from the Chamber of Commerce
“Arizona is a microcosm of the nation when it comes to views on this issue. We’re ground zero for the debate,” says Farrell Quinlan, a spokesman for the Arizona Chamber of Commerce in Phoenix. “Our economy is growing, and a lot of industries have grown to rely on that source of labor.”
And this dose of reality:
In peak migration season, more than 8,000 immigrants cross from Mexico into Arizona every day, according to the National Border Patrol Council. Many find jobs in the state’s booming construction, tourism, and farm industries. But the surge in newcomers exacts a heavy toll on schools, hospitals, and law enforcement, as well as on the migrants themselves, who in summer months perish by the scores in Arizona’s harsh border regions.
The article goes on….
The state’s all-Republican congressional delegation – some of whom are in unexpectedly close contests for reelection – is deeply divided on the immigration issue. Sharing [retiring Republican Representative [Randy] Kolbe’s [moderate] view are Rep. Jeff Flake, in the upscale Phoenix suburb of Mesa, and the very popular Sen. John McCain. They’d like to see an approach to immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for some of the 12 million people now in the US illegally.
On the other side are Graf and Rep. J.D. Hayworth, who represents the also-upscale Fifth Congressional District in Scottsdale. They say their colleagues’ plan amounts to amnesty for illegal immigrants and would reward people for breaking the law. The nation must secure its borders first, they say. Then there’s Sen. Jon Kyl, up for reelection this year, who favors expanding a guestworker program but who would also require undocumented workers to leave the US before applying for citizenship.
Senator McCain’s approach is to put party loyalty ahead of immigration differences. He has endorsed both Graf and Representative Hayworth, rather than candidates whose views on immigration are closer to his own. He is also stumping for Senator Kyl.

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