Democrats Can Win on Immigration

… In their quest to retake the House or the Senate (or both), Democrats should not shy away from incorporating and welcoming immigrants into their own rhetoric. When Republicans embark on meanspirited immigrant bashing, Democrats should take notes from Harry Reid’s 2010 re-election victory in Nevada and Ralph Northam’s 2017 gubernatorial win in Virginia. Both Mr. Reid and Mr. Northam rebuffed racially charged anti-immigrant campaigns, standing up for Dreamers, and in the process winning over Latino voters alongside a coalition of progressive and moderate college-educated whites.

In 2010, Mr. Reid made a strong stand for the Dream Act while competing against a Republican, Sharron Angle, who ran a nativist campaign equating immigrants with gang members. Mr. Reid defied the polls and won re-election on the strength of very high Latino turnout — and no signs of a white working-class backlash. …

In Virginia, polling data has made it clear that Mr. Gillespie’s MS-13 rhetoric backfired among minority voters as well as, crucially, among many whites. Mr. Northam won a majority of white college-educated voters, who made up a larger share of the electorate in 2017 than they did in 2016. CONT.

Matt A. Barreto (UCLA), New York Times