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Immigration's Role in the Midterm Elections

WASHINGTON -- Control of Congress is up for grabs in November and current members left for the July 4th break without passing immigration legislation. For some voters, it will be an important issue at the ballot box in November.  

Protestors against family separations at the border plan to keep immigration front and center between now and the midterm elections.

"We are fighting to end zero tolerance policy."

Richard Morales directs the immigration campaign at "Faith in Action" - a non-partisan, non-profit organization active in 21 states. 
Volunteers took part in this Capitol Hill demonstration and in a clergy-led action at the southern border.

"We are seeing that voters are outraged by what's happening. Through the election we're planning to talk to one million voters," Morales says.

In a recent CBS News poll, more democrats than republicans said the treatment of families at the border will be a factor in their vote.

"I don't think you leave a land unless that land is more dangerous than that desert, and you don't put your kid on a raft in the ocean unless you have to," says liberal voter Sydney Lee Reyes.
 
But President Trump is focused on border security.  "If we took zero tolerance away, you would be overrun."  
 
And his supporters want immigration policy enforced.

"We shouldn't just allow everyone, open the gates and coming here.  We should have merit based immigration policy," says conservative voter Floyd Johnson.

Current members of Congress can't agree on a comprehensive fix.  

"Immigration is probably the most emotional public policy issue in the United States."
  Alex Nowrasteh, senior immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute, says immigration is a much bigger challenge than other legislation.
 
"You have a complex issue that affects who we are are as a country, affects our culture, you have a law that is antiquated, old and complex, you have a lot of illegality going on, and on top of that, a president who making a severe issue out of this rhetorically, and really ginning up a lot of fear."
 
Those emotions are expected to play out differently in different parts of the country, when voters go to the polls on the first Tuesday in November. 

(Weijia Jiang, CBS News)
 


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