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Senate Race in MA: Scott Brown a Hardliner, Not Moderate, on Immigration

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One of the most closely watched non-presidential races this fall is the Elizabeth Warren – Scott Brown Senate matchup in Massachusetts, an intense and expensive fight to reclaim the seat formerly held by Teddy Kennedy for the Democrats.  On one side is Democrat Elizabeth Warren, Harvard Law professor and consumer rights advocate extraordinaire.  On the other, Republican Sen. Scott Brown, Tea Partier and former state senator of “this is my truck” fame.

We’re watching the race closely too, because Scott Brown— despite his attempts to pass as a moderate in deep-blue Massachusetts—has turned out to be quite a hardliner on immigration.  Last week, he managed to make all of his extremist views on the issue clear within a span of three minutes while giving an interview to 96.9 Boston.

He repeated his opposition to the DREAM Act and the “backdoor amnesty that comes with it”—Brown is so against recognizing young immigrants who came to the US as children that he voted against the DREAM Act when it came up in the Senate in 2010.

He reiterated his opposition to President Obama’s deferred action policy for DREAMers, saying that “I feel badly [for undocumented youth], but I feel worse for those who have been trying to do it legally.”  Helping these two groups is not mutually exclusive, Sen. Brown.

And he brought up his support of Secure Communities, a program that has engendered so much mistrust between immigrant and police communities that Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick sought to withdraw his state from Secure Communities entirely.

You can listen to Sen. Brown’s radio remarks here:

Newstaco slammed Brown for his comments, saying that his extremist positions on immigration undermined any claim he might have toward being a moderate.

The fact is that Brown is just replicating the 2012 GOP immigration memo (championed by [Kris] Kobach), and he might as well be running for the Senate in Arizona. Brown’s answers do not surprise us. In the end, no matter how much Brown is trying to portray himself as an independent voice for Massachusetts, his views and comments about immigration put him in the same crowd as the Kris Kobachs and Joe Arpaios of the world.

The truth is that Massachusetts is one of the nation’s most diverse states, with a Latino vote demographic that has increased by 98% (2000-2010) as a share of the state electorate.  Given how these voters tend to put a high priority on addressing the topic of immigration, Brown cannot claim to adequately represent them when his views on the issue are so far toward the extreme.  (There’s also the matter of this video, where Scott Brown staffers were caught mocking Elizabeth Warren with “tomahawk chops” and “war whoops” relating to a supposed controversy over her Native American lineage.)

Luckily, there’s Warren, whose views on immigration are quite on the opposite end of the spectrum.  She supports the DREAM Act, supports the President’s administrative policy on DREAMers, and believes that Brown’s vote against DREAM in 2010 was a mistake that “denied the dreams of these young people” and “cost our communities and our country.”

For more Senate races that we’re paying attention to in the immigration world, click here.