July 15, 2024
Hogan Aims to Leverage Outrage over Biden’s Open Border in Deep-Blue Md. Senate Race

Hogan Aims to Leverage Outrage over Biden’s Open Border in Deep-Blue Md. Senate Race

(Arjun Singh, The Center Square) Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has made illegal immigration a centerpiece of his 2024 Senate campaign in the state.

Meanwhile, if voters listened only to his Democrat opponent, Angela Alsobrooks, they might not hear the word “immigration” at all.

Hogan, a centrist NeverTrumper, hopes to flip the seat being vacated by retiring Democrat Sen. Ben Cardin in the deep blue state where he succeeded in serving two terms as a surprisingly popular governor.

Since winning the GOP primary election on May 14, Hogan has aggressively campaigned on stopping illegal immigration, which has experienced a dramatic increase under the Biden administration.

“Our open southern border is a humanitarian catastrophe that is harming our communities and wreaking havoc across the country,” Hogan’s campaign wrote in a statement to the Center Square.

“For decades, politicians have played campaign politics with this issue instead of actually just solving the problem,” the statement continued. “Enough is enough.”

Hogan has posted multiple times about “the border crisis” on his Twitter account, where he blames both parties for failing to address the issue.

In April, Hogan visited Texas to tour the U.S. southern border with Mexico—a common practice by Republican candidates across the country seeking to attack Democrats on the issue.

Hogan is making a conservative argument on border security in a heavily Democratic state, with a Cook Partisan Voting Index (PVI) score of D+14. It is estimated that 275,000 illegal immigrants live in Maryland, with at least 120,000 of them being family of U.S. citizens, according to the American Immigration Council.

By contrast, Alsobrooks has said close to nothing about border security or immigration during her campaign. In public statements and on social media, she has instead emphasized abortion, gun violence and climate change as top issues.

Where Alsobrooks, currently the top executive for Prince George’s County, has commented on immigration, she has instead highlighted her record of supporting “undocumented” immigrants and efforts to shield them from deportation

The county, like many other “woke” municipalities, has made a point of its refusal to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, even when doing so has resulted in an uptick in violent crime for already vulnerable communities.

For Democrats, however, the reduced quality of living is a worthwhile tradeoff for the increase in political power they receive by importing new residents. Not only does it potentially allow the blue areas to gain additional federal funds—and possibly even congressional seats—but the Great Replacement strategy also helps assure that the region will remain Democrat in generations to come, if not veer even farther to the radical left.

“Angela was a vocal advocate and pushed to pass legislation allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses,” reads Alsobrooks’ campaign website, which also details her efforts to prevent police officers from collaborating with federal officials to deport non-violent offenders.

Alsobrooks has vowed to “fervently support” a pathway to U.S. citizenship for foreign nationals who are illegally present in the country, a policy long supported by Democrats but criticized as “amnesty” for illegal immigrants by Republicans.

Her website cites as a model the American Dream and Promise Act—a bill that would grant legal status to minors brought to the U.S. illegally as children, which passed the Democratic-led House in the 117th Congress.

Hogan’s and Alsobrooks’s vastly different views on the border come as Republicans seek to make illegal immigration a key argument in their campaigns, particularly to attack the Biden administration, which has allowed an estimated 11 million illegals into the country. Democrats, by contrast, have sought to deflect from the problem by claiming that Republicans are seeking to weaponize the issue and are not interested in solving the issue.

These differences came to a head in February, when Senate Republicans voted to kill a bill that Democrats said would have enacted border security reforms to limit illegal crossings.

Democrats accused former President Donald Trump, the GOP nominee for president in 2024, of giving fellow Republicans their marching orders by criticizing the bill. Republicans countered that the bill would have given Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, whom House Republicans impeached over the border crisis, even more discretionary authority to make decisions on border policy.

“This Bill is a great gift to the Democrats, and a Death Wish for The Republican Party. It takes the HORRIBLE JOB the Democrats have done on Immigration and the Border, absolves them, and puts it all squarely on the shoulders of Republicans,” Trump wrote on Truth Social.

As part of a cynical political ploy, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer brought the bill back to the Senate floor last week. However, it failed in a 43-50 procedural vote.

While the RealClearPolitics polling average shows Hogan currently with a 6.5 point advantage, only one of those polls was conducted in May, just five days before the two secured their nominations in the state primary, and that poll, from Emerson College, gave a 10-point edge to Alsobrooks in a head-to-head matchup between the two.

The poll’s 54% Democrats roughly reflected the accurate percentages within the state, although it slightly underrepresented Republicans in favor of independents.


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