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U.S. Senate candidates Hogan, Alsobrooks differ on immigration, border

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(The Center Square) – Larry Hogan has made illegal immigration a centerpiece of his 2024 Senate campaign in Maryland. If one listened to his opponent, Angela Alsobrooks, they might not hear the word “immigration” at all.

Hogan, a former two-term governor of Maryland, is the Republican nominee for the state’s U.S. Senate election. Since winning the 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. 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, Hogan’s opponent – Angela 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, the Prince George’s County Executive, has commented on immigration, she has instead highlighted her record of supporting “undocumented” immigrants and efforts to shield them from deportation.

“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’ vastly different views on the border comes as Republicans seek to make illegal immigration a key argument in their campaigns, particularly to attack the Biden administration. Democrats, by contrast, have argued that Republicans are seeking to weaponize the issue and are not interested in solving the problem.

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 Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, whom House Republicans impeached over the border crisis, eve 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.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer brought the bill back to the Senate floor on Thursday but it failed in a 43-50 procedural vote.

Alsobrooks currently leads Hogan in polling by a 0.6% average. Her campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

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