By Dan Restrepo
Yesterday, someone apparently forgot to electrify the new third rail of American politics in Virginia as voters demonstrated a common sense approach to the challenges associated with immigration that seems to elude much of our nation’s political class.
Instead of falling into the restictionist, nativist trap of expressing frustration with quality of life issues by lashing out at immigrants and rewarding those advocating harsh enforcement-only measures, they voted on the issues that have the most direct effect on their quality of life.
Virginians voted for moderation and for candidates promising, for example, to address school quality and tackle the commonwealth’s enormous transportation challenges. They also embraced candidates that recognized the challenges posed by the failure of federal action on comprehensive immigration reform and who called on the federal government to fulfill its responsibility.
Having run out of ideas that resonate, right-wing forces in Virginia, as has been the case across the country, hung their hopes on maintaining power on the politics of fear with anti-immigrant vitriol as the centerpiece of their effort. They failed.
Dan Restrepo is the Director of The Americas Project at the Center for American Progress. In his role, Dan is responsible for the Center’s work related to the United States and its place in and relationship with the rest of the Americas.
Americas Project Director Dan Restrepo Senior Fellow Henry Fernandez, and Director of Ethnic Media Vanessa Cárdenas are available for analysis and interviews.
Henry Fernandez on the mainstream media’s choice of immigration experts:
Dan Restrepo on the failure of the immigration bill earlier this year:
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