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Opinion

Underage illegal immigrants may be an issue in Massachusetts governor race

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Michael Barone,Immigration,Massachusetts,2014 Elections,Martha Coakley,Charlie Baker

As I noted in a blogpost over the weekend, the political fallout from the surge of (not entirely) underage Central American illegal immigrants across the Lower Rio Grande is spreading across the nation. And over some considerable distance: it's 2,210 miles from McAllen, Texas, on the border, to Swampscott, Mass., the home of Republican governor candidate Charlie Baker, who according to the Boston Herald has been criticizing Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick's handling of "the planeloads of illegal immigrants” arriving in the Bay State.

Massachusetts county sheriffs have been raising questions about seven secret flights into the state; a Patrick administration spokesman says the state government has “no role” in agreements between the sheriffs and the federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.

The Herald quotes Baker as saying, “As governor under these circumstances and situation I would be in constant contact with the White House and the folks at ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to the point where if I needed to go to Washington and take a few of the sheriffs and other folks who are being engaged in this conversation with me, I would. ... I think it’s important that Massachusetts leaders stand up for Massachusetts on this one and get answers from the federal government ... and what the end game is here, how it’s going to get resolved, what’s the time frame.”

The most recent Boston Globe poll shows Baker trailing Democrat Martha Coakley, 40 to 35 percent margin.

Coakley is currently state attorney general, and you may remember her as the Democrat who lost to Republican Scott Brown in the January 2011 special Senate election — a contest in which she led Brown in polls by a wider margin just weeks before the vote. Perhaps someone will ask her what the state government should do about the illegals being flown in from more than 2,000 miles away.

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Michael Barone

Senior Political Analyst
The Washington Examiner

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