tags: Targeted Races

Roskam (R-IL-6)

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RESULT: Peter Roskam 58% – Jill Morgenthaler (D) 42%  

The Race:

This race pits freshman incumbent Peter Roskam (R) against Democrat Jill Morgenthaler. Although the polls favor the Republican, this race is still seen as competitive. According to National Journal’s Congress Daily, when Morgenthaler announced in October 2007, that she was running for Congress, she “said she would focus on immigration, and withdrawing troops from Iraq.” [National Journal’s CongressDaily, 10/26/07] As early as January 2008, Morgenthaler said that her opponent “has been ineffective in dealing with pressing issues such as illegal immigration. Instead, he has become like other Washington, D.C., leaders who are so engrossed in partisan politics, they ignore their constituents and their concerns.” [Chicago Sun Times, 1/28/08] In his 2006 election bid, it was Roskam who brought immigration to the campaign trail. According to the AP, “Roskam spent millions to defeat [Tammy] Duckworth in their hard-fought [2006] race, and the National Republican Congressional Committee ran television ads portraying Duckworth as liberal on immigration issues.” [AP, 1/27/08]

The Roskam Position:

Peter Roskam

ENFORCEMENT ONLY. Immigration is the most prominent issue on Roskam’s website. He introduces his immigration position by stating, “We must secure our borders, hold employers accountable for who they hire and oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants.” Roskam states that he works “tirelessly” in Congress to provide resources to continue securing United States borders. He said that he has already cosponsored more than twenty bills to strengthen U.S. borders and enforcement of current immigration laws. Roskam says that the second step to immigration reform is to “give employers the tools to verify the employment eligibility of potential hires.” Finally, Roskam says the third step to immigration reform is to oppose the “Senate Illegal Immigrant Amnesty Bill,” referring to the bipartisan bill that failed to advance last year. [Roskam for Congress, accessed 5/14/08]

The Morgenthaler Position:

Jill Morgenthaler

UNKNOWN. The Chicago Tribune reported that as an Army Reserve Colonel, “Morgenthaler said she views illegal immigration as a national security issue and said as much attention should be paid to the border with Canada as the border with Mexico. ‘There are elements who are coming here to hurt us’, she said.” [Chicago Tribune, 1/30/08] On her campaign website, the only mention of immigration is found under the heading of Homeland Security, and reads: “We must get a better handle on who’s coming into our country, where they go once they get here, and what they’re bringing with them. This requires more manpower and technology at our ports and borders, and more cooperation among federal, state, and local governments to ensure seamless cooperation and shared intelligence.”

Illinois 16th