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Dem Candidates Seize Border Security Issues They Used To Avoid

With immigration shaping elections that will decide control of Congress, Democrats are trying to outflank Republicans and convince voters they can address problems at the border with Mexico, embracing an issue that has usually been used against them. The shift in strategy, especially from Democrats in battleground states, comes as the Biden administration has struggled to manage an unprecedented migrant influx at the Southwest border, the Associated Press reports. Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has led his party in vilifying immigrants as “poisoning the blood" of the U.S. and called for mass deportations of migrants. As the GOP looks to flip control of the Senate, they are tying Democrats to President Biden’s handling of immigration.

The tactic has figured large in elections like Arizona’s Senate race, a seat Democrats need to win to save their majority. Republican Kari Lake has repeatedly linked Rep. Ruben Gallego, the likely Democratic nominee, to Biden, saying, “there’s really not a difference between the two.” Democrats are not shrugging off such attacks: They believe they can tout their own proposals for fixing the border, especially after Trump and Republican lawmakers rejected a bipartisan border security bill this year. “It gives some Democrats an opportunity to say, ‘Look, I’m here for solutions,’” Gallego said. “Clearly, the Republicans are here to play games ... They’re not interested in border security. They’re interested in the politics of border security." Gallego had been a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, but left the group. Now he’s emphasizing his work on bolstering the ranks of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and securing funding for communities impacted by recent spikes in immigration, which he calls a “crisis.”


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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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