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August 05. 2014 8:23PM

In Salem, Scott Brown talks immigration, and his continued opposition to the ACA

SALEM — Scott Brown’s town hall-style meeting focusing on illegal immigration fielded just two questions on the crisis, but the topic continues to ripple through the U.S. Senate race.

Brown was asked about Mexico’s responsibility and the fate of unaccompanied minors illegally entering the country. His response to both questions was nearly identical.

“I believe we are a nation of laws,” he said.

Brown, a Republican who has aired a television ad on illegal immigration, said America must secure its southern border and remove any incentives for immigrants to sneak into the country. That includes, he said, ensuring proper deportation for children who cross the border illegally.

“A nation without borders is not a nation at all,” said Brown, speaking Tuesday night before about 40 people at Black Water Grill in Salem.

Brown accused Democratic incumbent Jeanne Shaheen of voting against bills to secure the border. Shaheen, as well as Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH, voted last year for an immigration reform bill.

The issue zoomed again to national attention with thousands of illegal immigrants from Central America crossing the southern border.

In his meeting in Salem, Brown fielded 12 questions, the last one being whether he had discussions with former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who has endorsed Brown.

Brown repeatedly cited his opposition to the Affordable Care Act.

New Hampshire Democrats accused Brown of flip-flopping, in part, based on an opinion piece he wrote this week for the New Hampshire Union Leader. Brown wrote about illegal immigration and pro-amnesty policies that encouraged people to enter the country illegally, and he called in-state college tuition for illegal immigrants one of the “magnets” that needs to be shut off.

The state Democratic Party cited a vote Brown made as a Massachusetts state senator to allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition rates. The bill in question was vetoed by Romney when he was governor in Massachusetts.

dtuohy@unionleader.com


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