Sharron Angle has a new TV ad that calls U.S. Sen. Harry Reid illegal immigrants' "best friend" and says his policies are putting American jobs and safety at risk.
The hard-hitting ad from the Democratic incumbent's GOP Senate challenger targets Nevada voters' concerns that illegal workers are taking jobs away from U.S. Citizens at a time of record high unemployment in the state.
"Illegals sneaking across our border, putting Americans' safety and jobs at risk," the ad narrator says as images show people crossing the border.
The ad then notes Nevada is struggling from "the nation's highest unemployment rate," now at 14.3 percent.
The ad says Reid opposes Arizona's tough new law that cracks down on illegal immigrants. It gives police the right to ask about someone's legal status if stopped for another suspected offense, but it's mostly on hold while the federal government sues to stop its enforcement.
The ad also accuses Reid of voting for "special tax breaks" for illegal immigrants and to give them Social Security benefits "even for the time they were here illegally."
A couple of the votes happened in 2006 as Nevada's GOP Sen. John Ensign introduced bill amendments to bar illegal immigrants who apply for legal status from collecting tax refunds or filing any claims for earned income tax credit or other tax benefits for years prior to 2006.
The new 30-second ads comes as voter anxiety about illegal workers and the economy is on the rise.
A recent poll for the Las Vegas Review-Journal shows that:
--54 percent of Nevadans said they believe immigrants without legal status are taking jobs away from Nevada citizens, while 31 percent said such workers fill low-wage jobs most citizens wouldn't take. Fifteen percent were undecided.
--46 percent of Nevadans said the state's economy would be better if those who are not here legally were removed from the work force, while 31 percent said the economy would be about the same. Thirteen percent said the economy would be worse without undocumented workers and 10 percent weren't sure.
The poll of likely voters was taken Sept. 7-9 by Mason-Dixon.
Nevada had an estimated 130,000 undocumented workers in 2009, the highest share of undocumented workers in the nation, at 9.4 percent, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.
The Angle ad risks angering Hispanics who make up one-quarter of Nevada's population. But Reid already enjoys much stronger Latino support than Angle and the illegal immigration issue likely plays in her favor with non-partisan swing voters worried about jobs and the economy.
The new ad comes a day after Reid said in Washington that he will try to pass at least one component of immigration reform this year.
Reid said he plans a Senate vote on an amendment to an upcoming defense bill that would allow undocumented young people who were brought into the country by their parents to get on a path to citizenship if they pursue college or serve in the armed forces.
Students have rallied Congress in favor of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, or DREAM Act. It is directed to students who came to the United States as illegal immigrants before they were 16 and who have been in the country for at least five years. The bill would grant them temporary residency for six years. Within that time, the individuals would have the chance to earn permanent residency if they complete at least two years of college or serve at least two years in the armed forces with an honorable discharge.