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  1. #1
    Senior Member Brian503a's Avatar
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    Immigration may drive Senate race in N.J., poll finds

    http://www.philly.com

    Posted on Mon, Aug. 28, 2006

    Immigration may drive Senate race in N.J., poll finds
    Kean has taken a hard line on the issue. Menendez, meanwhile, voted to pass landmark legislation.

    By Donna De La Cruz
    Associated Press

    WASHINGTON - New Jersey is thousands of miles from the border with Mexico, but a recent poll suggests illegal immigration is a top issue in the state's U.S. Senate campaign.

    Republican candidate Tom Kean Jr. says strict immigration reform would be a top priority if he is elected. Yet Kean, who has taken a hard line on immigration, won't say whether he supports or opposes an ordinance adopted by Riverside, the rural Burlington County town that has banned residents from hiring or renting to illegal immigrants.

    That law drew hundreds of protesters on both sides of the issue and forced Riverside police to close the town's main thoroughfare during a rally on Aug. 19.

    Kean's opponent, Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, says he opposes the Riverside ordinance, which is being challenged in federal court.

    A poll released earlier this summer suggests that immigration will be one of the top issues in the Senate campaign between Kean, who comes from a prominent New Jersey family that has been in the state for generations, and Menendez, whose parents emigrated from Cuba.

    Political analysts say the issue could be a tricky one for Kean in a state as diverse as New Jersey. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Hispanics make up nearly 15 percent of the state's population. An estimated 350,000 illegal immigrants live in New Jersey.

    "It's a calculated risk on Kean's part, but I think he has to say something on the issue," Rutgers University political scientist Ross Baker said.

    "What works for Republicans in Colorado doesn't work for Republicans in New Jersey," Baker added. Colorado recently passed statewide tough immigration laws that would force a million people receiving state or federal aid there to verify their citizenship.

    A Rutgers-Eagleton poll released in June showed that 65 percent of New Jerseyans said illegal immigrants who have lived and worked in this country for at least two years should be permitted to keep their jobs and eventually seek legal status. Thirty-two percent said those immigrants should be deported.

    Opinion varied slightly by political affiliation, with 69 percent of Democrats surveyed supporting legalization for immigrants already here, compared with 62 percent of Republicans. The telephone survey of 800 adults has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

    Joseph Marbach, a political scientist at Seton Hall University, said New Jersey's long history of being home to a variety of immigrant groups had made residents "much more liberal-leaning and tolerant with regard to the treatment of immigrants."

    Marbach said this is one area in which Kean's campaign can differentiate itself from Menendez, since the two candidates share the same views on many issues - both favor abortion rights, stem-cell research and tougher gun-control laws.

    Menendez voted along with the majority of senators in May to pass landmark legislation to secure U.S. borders and offer millions of illegal immigrants a path to eventual citizenship. In all, 38 Democrats, 23 Republicans and one independent voted for the bill, while 32 Republicans and four Democrats opposed it.

    "The solution to the nation's broken immigration system should be at the federal level, which is why I am standing with [Arizona Sen.] John McCain to pass legislation that will strengthen our borders and increase enforcement of immigration laws," Menendez said.

    The senator accused Kean of flip-flopping on the issue, saying Kean initially endorsed the McCain-sponsored bill, then changed his position.

    Kean was not available to speak to the Associated Press about the issue, said Jill Hazelbaker, a Kean campaign spokeswoman.

    Had Kean been in the Senate, he would not have voted for the Senate measure that passed, she said.

    "The bill makes a mockery of our legal system and rewards those who have broken our laws," she said.

    Kean believes that the United States needs a system that allows employers to easily verify the legal status of employees and that there should be penalties for those businesses who knowingly hire illegal immigrants, Hazelbaker said.
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  2. #2
    MW
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    Senior Member MW's Avatar
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    I don't know anything about Kean, but I do know Sen. Menendez is high on the priority list of enemies to our cause. The man must go, vote Kean for the Senate!

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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    Senior Member sippy's Avatar
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    "The solution to the nation's broken immigration system should be at the federal level, which is why I am standing with [Arizona Sen.] John McCain to pass legislation that will strengthen our borders and increase enforcement of immigration laws," Menendez said.
    Is this joker for real? He just committed political suicide by openly admitting he stands by McCain. This should be the first and foremost reason why he shouldn't be re-elected!!!
    "Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the same results is the definition of insanity. " Albert Einstein.

  4. #4
    Senior Member gofer's Avatar
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    A Rutgers-Eagleton poll released in June showed that 65 percent of New Jerseyans said illegal immigrants who have lived and worked in this country for at least two years should be permitted to keep their jobs and eventually seek legal status
    I just don't buy that 65% of New Jersey is pro-illegal! Something is skewed with that poll! If it goes as in other states the pro-illegal will lose big time!

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