N.H. GOP Hits Shaheen For Replacing American Workers

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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The New Hampshire GOP is using the hot-button issue of jobs and immigration to help Scott Brown squeak ahead of incumbent Democrat Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in their neck-and-neck race.

“The Obama-Shaheen plan brings in millions of lower-paid workers to compete for your jobs and wages,” says one get-out-the-vote online ad, which also carried an image saying “New Hampshire Workers Need Jobs.”

“Scott Brown’s priority is helping New Hampshire workers — not bringing in lower-paid workers to replace them,” says another one of the four online ads. “Vote Scott Brown and send a message to the open borders lobby.”

That’s a sharp change from the usual immigration-related pitches, including those made by Scott Brown in debates. The usual pitches focus on the non-controversial need for greater border security against assorted terrorists, diseases and illegal immigrants.

The New Hampshire ads hit Shaheen for her support of the Senate’s 2013 “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” bill. The bill would have doubled the annual inflow of immigrant and guest workers up to nearly 4 million, which would be almost level with the roughly 4.3 million Americans who turn 18 each year.

The Senate bill was blocked by the GOP leaders in the House, amid polls showing opposition from GOP voters, swing-voters, Democrats, some Hispanics and many Americans who are worried about jobs and wages.

Currently, polls show that Obama’s immigration policies face strong opposition from roughly 50 percent of respondents, and only have strong support from roughly 15 percent of respondents.

The combined immigration and job pitch is unusual for the GOP, because many business leaders and donors favor large-scale immigration, and large-scale use of guest-workers in the seasonal tourist, recreation, fishing, forestry and farming industries.

“This election is going to be razor thin,” said a GOP political operative in New Hampshire.

But the pitch will help Brown beat Shaheen, said a GOP operative in New Hampshire. “This is the choice: do you want an immigration policy that sinks American workers or saves them?” he said.

“Do you want open borders, or secure neighborhoods and growing incomes?… The matter will rest in the hands of patriotic voters… This is their moment to beat back the post-nationalists,” the operative said.

Polls shows that voters strongly favor policies that pressure companies to hire Americans instead of immigrants or guest-workers.

Two other GOP candidates —Rep. Tom Cotton in Arkansas and David Perdue in Georgia — are using a similar immigration and jobs pitch to win voters, and also to counter-attack against Democratic claims that Republicans don’t like working-class Americans.

To some extent, Brown is shielded from a likely business backlash because he’s not releasing the online ads —- the state party is releasing the ads.

The party’s pitch also cites what it says is Shaheen’s support for President Barack Obama’s plan to enact a unilateral rollback of immigration enforcement.

In September, Shaheen voted with nearly all other Democratic senators to defeat an amendment by Sen. Jeff Sessions that would have limited Obama’s ability to declare a unilateral amnesty.

Media reports say the planned December rollback may include the distribution of six million work-permits to illegal immigrants, and the release of rules allowing profitable companies to hire more foreign guest-workers in place of debt-burdened American college graduates.

“Obama’s fast-approaching executive amnesty, for which Jeanne Shaheen voted, would allow employers to instantly hire workers coming here illegally at lower wages than New Hampshire workers, displacing those who need our help most – including New Hampshire mothers trying support their kids,” says the party’s press statement, issued Oct. 31.

“Shaheen will continue to vote with Obama 99% of the time, including on his efforts to replace New Hampshire workers with lower-paid labor,” continued the press statement, which touted the four new online ads that are being used to spike turnout in the very close race.

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