Updated Feb 21, 2018 - Politics & Policy

Two Americas: immigration politics in the Senate

Senate Democrats are generally from states with higher immigrant populations than Senate Republicans, partially explaining why the effort to pass an immigration bill tanked last week. The exception, however, are the handful of Democrats from red states — who are almost all up for re-election this year.

Why this matters: Immigrant populations almost perfectly sort the two parties, and it showed over the last week as the Senate failed to come up with a compromise to protect immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children. But these politics are especially tricky for red-state Democrats like Sens. Joe Manchin, Heidi Heitkamp and Joe Donnelly, who joined Republicans to vote for a Trump-backed proposal.

The other chamber: House seats held by Republicans generally have significantly lower foreign-born populations than those held by Democrats.


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