Vukmir, Duffy respond to immigration concerns after GOP rally in MinocquaSubmitted: 10/30/2018
Lane Kimble
Lane Kimble
News Director

Vukmir, Duffy respond to immigration concerns after GOP rally in Minocqua
MINOCQUA - A migrant caravan moving toward the U.S.-Mexico border feels a long way from Oneida County.  But it's an important issue Republican supporters want their Senate candidate to take a strong position on.

Voters got to hear from that candidate, Leah Vukmir, in Minocqua on Tuesday afternoon.

Congressman Sean Duffy and State Senator Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point) joined Vukmir at the GOP offices along Highway 51 during a 45-minute stop.  The visit drew a crowd of several dozen supporters.

Vukmir says her opponent Tammy Baldwin would prefer to see "catch and release" of illegal immigrants at the border, but Vukmir said the U.S. is and should be a "nation of laws."

"The privilege of being an American requires the responsibility of going through a process of citizenship," Vukmir told reporters after the event. "I watched my family members do that [Vukmir's father immigrated from Greece] and I believe most people here in Wisconsin feel very strongly about that issue as well."

Vukmir said a border wall is the best, first step, but laws need to be strengthened, too.

Congressman Duffy told Newswatch 12 a secure border would prevent caravans from trying to come here in the first place. Responding to President Trump's suggestion of using an executive order to eliminate birthright citizenship for children born in the U.S., Duffy wanted to look into the idea more before making a decision.

"I think we are the only country that does that," Duffy said. "I gotta look at it. I can't tell you if I'm opposed or in favor. I gotta see what the proposal actually looks like."

According to an Associated Press report, about 30 other countries have birthright citizenship, including Canada and Mexico.

Duffy, Testin, and Vukmir all received cheers as they hammered opponents, namely Tammy Baldwin, on taxes, immigration, and healthcare. Supporters also voiced approval for President Trump's economic policies, which Duffy said are not getting enough attention.

"Three years ago, we were afraid if you lost your job you couldn't pay your mortgage. You have jobs everywhere today, there's for-hire everywhere in all of our communities and that's because of these good policies," Duffy said.

The latest Marquette Law Poll shows Vukmir trails Baldwin by 10 points among likely voters, but Duffy says Republicans actually have the momentum now.

"Barack Obama would not come to Wisconsin, Joe Biden would not come to Wisconsin if these races were a lock," Duffy said. "They're really, really close and that's why you see these headliners from the Democrat Party coming in trying to save Tammy Baldwin."

Vukmir, Duffy, and Testin went from Minocqua to a rally with Eric Trump in the Wausau area later Tuesday afternoon.

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