In the wake of his spat with Romney over his record on immigration, Rudy is poised tomorrow to expand on his commitment to “end illegal immigration, secure our borders, and identify every non-citizen in our nation.” Today, the Giuliani campaign announced the members of his immigration advisory team and also, perhaps to preemptively fend off criticism that he was a soft on illegal immigration as mayor, offered a “Rudy Rewind” detailing pro-enforcement statements he made as far back as 1982, when he was in the Reagan Justice Department. In April of 2006, way before there was even a Giuliani campaign, I wrote that the immigration issue represented a major opportunity for Rudy. Specifically, his record on fighting crime as mayor gives him credibility to argue he’s the one to gain control of our borders Even if other candidates are tougher on immigration rhetorically, there’s a case to be made that in the real world, Giuliani is the man who could actually get it done. It remains to be seen whether conservatives will embrace his message, or if they’ll be dismissive given his support for a zone of protection for illegal immigrants when he was mayor, of which his rivals will be sure to remind conservative voters.
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