Immigration Rises in Importance in New Hampshire

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Ahead of Saturday’s GOP debate and Tuesday’s primary, New Hampshire faith and business leaders joined an immigration attorney and a longtime advocate Thursday to advance a conversation that recognizes immigrant contributions and the need for immigration reform.

“The campaign of fear doesn’t work on people who know immigrants,” immigration attorney Randall Drew said during the immigration summit at Raymond Baptist Church.

“We’re in a global economy, so our immigration policies should reflect that,” said New Hampshire international trade and business expert Dawn Wivell, as quoted this morning in the New Hampshire Union Leader.

“People should never be sacrificed on the altar of politics,” concluded Kevin McBride, Senior Pastor at Raymond Baptist Church.

The conversation stands in contrast to a report in the New York Times that Donald Trump’s message on immigration may resonate in New Hampshire. And the Arizona Republic notes that immigration is the No. 2 issue among New Hampshire Republicans, despite the state’s relatively small immigrant population.

Demographic changes around the country may be influencing the political debate in New Hampshire (and even there, the Latino population doubled between 2000 and 2014, Fox News Latino reports).

But Thursday’s panel, and a similar one last week in Iowa, offer a clear alternative to allowing fear to dominate the conversation.

“When you go beyond the candidates’ applause lines, Americans still want a better immigration process,” said Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum Action Fund. “Voters know that mass deportation contradicts our values and would be an economic nightmare. Whatever the short-term political advantage, a hardline position on immigrants is a loser in the long run.”


Comments are closed.