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Boxer and Fiorina Battle (in Spanish) Over Who’s Anti-Immigration Reform

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) is pushing back against claims that her opponent, Republican Carly Fiorina, is the more pro-immigration reform candidate with a new Spanish-language ad. “Fiorina is against comprehensive immigration reform and prefers a discriminatory law like the Arizona law,” the ad states. “She is not with us.” As my colleague Jesse pointed out, a National Organization for Marriage-backed ad in support of Fiorina made the rather dubious claim last week that Boxer “voted against immigration reform to permit our people to come here legally to work.”

Which one is really against immigration reform? It depends on your definition.

Both candidates have expressed support for non-comprehensive reform efforts, such as reform of the guest-worker system. Boxer voted in favor of moving forward with the defense authorization bill, to which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was planning to attach the DREAM Act, in August. Fiorina broke with many members of her party by saying in September she would support the DREAM Act, which would allow some illegal immigrants to gain legal status in exchange for college or military service.

But it’s difficult to say how Fiorina would vote if she got to office. Some Republicans supported the DREAM Act as a standalone measure, but still voted to filibuster the bill that could have included it. Fiorina’s hard-line stances on so-called amnesty — or any path to legal status for the 11 million illegal immigrants already in the U.S. — and her insistence that the government do more to secure the border points to a far more minimal definition of “immigration reform.”

Boxer, on the other hand, has argued for comprehensive immigration reform, which would allow some of the illegal immigrants in the U.S. to gain legal status while increasing border security and cracking down on employers who hire undocumented workers.

Both candidates are attempting to win over Latino voters, who account for 21 percent of California’s voting population and generally support immigration reform — and that’s immigration reform under Boxer’s definition, not Fiorina’s. So far, at least, polling numbers indicate far stronger support for Boxer among Latino voters: As of Sept. 29, she led Fiorina by 38 points among Latinos.

Here’s Boxer’s ad:

And NOM’s ad for Fiorina:

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