Slide 1 indicates that Republicans have been dominant in MD-01 congressional elections. This can be partially attributed to the redistricting that took effect in 2012. Though the district was represented both by Republicans and Democrats in the years before redistricting, from 2012 onward Republicans won MD-01 by large margins. This slide also indicates that because GOP margins tend to be very large in MD-01, the Member of Congress likely has more incentive to respond to electoral threat in the primary, rather than general, election.
Slide 2 reviews the literature about how local context and Member of Congress characteristics can inform immigration policymaking in general. I zero in on three features that are relevant to my district. The first is foreign-born population. Wong (2017) found that the higher the district foreign-born population, the less likely the Member will be to vote for restrictive immigration bills. It is important to note that Wong refers to the entire foreign-born population in a district, not just the voting foreign-born population, though he also writes that a higher rate ofnaturalized citizenship predicts a Member will be less likely to vote for restrictive immigration bills. The second is district party voting rates and MC party. GOP Members of Congress and Members of Congress who represent districts with higher GOP voting rates will be more likely to vote for restrictive immigration bills (Casellas and Leal 2013). The third is Latino population. Wong (2014) finds that Members of Congress who represent districts with larger Latino populations are less likely to vote for interior enforcement bills.
Based on the factors listed in slide 2, I predict that Rep. Andy Harris will be likely to vote for more restrictive immigration bills and interior enforcement bills. This is because (1) MD-01’s foreign-born population is less than 40% of the country as a whole; (2) MD-01 is represented by a Republican and has significantly higher GOP voting rates than the country as a whole; and (3) MD-01 has a significantly lower Latino population than the country as a whole.
Immigration has been an important issue for Rep. Harris in 2019 compared to other years. Of the 1017 bills Harris has co-sponsored during his time in the House, 40 have been related to immigration (4.3%). In 2019 alone, Harris has co-sponsored 4 bills related to immigration, 9.3% of all the bills he has co-sponsored. Harris’ website reserves one of its eight issue areas for immigration. Harris writes on his website that “securing our border is the first step to ending illegal immigration into the United States.” Finally, 24% of Harris’ 50 tweets between January 1 and March 1 were related to immigration. Harris frequently demonstrated his support for a border wall and for President Trump’s national emergency declaration.