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IMMIGRATION ISSUE FRONT AND CENTER IN U.S. SENATE RACE

Independent conservative U.S. Senate candidate Thomas Ravenel has launched a new radio advertisement blasting incumbent “Republican” Lindsey Graham on the issue of immigration.

The thirty-second spot – which is running statewide – highlights Graham’s 2007 assertion that those who opposed his support for amnesty were “bigots.”

“We’re gonna tell the bigots to shut up,” Graham said during his speech to La Raza, a Hispanic political advocacy group.

“Anyone who shows such disrespect for the people of South Carolina doesn’t deserve your vote,” Ravenel says in the spot, later adding “we shouldn’t have to put up with Lindsey Graham’s insults anymore.”

On his website, Ravenel says America’s flawed immigration system “causes the very problems we decry” and that Washington politicians have been approaching the issue “reflexively.”

“I oppose illegal immigration, amnesty for illegals, welfare benefits for illegals, the inconsistent enforcement of existing law as well as the adoption of failed policies that incentivize border-hopping,” Ravenel said. “I also oppose America’s failed ‘War on Drugs’ – which is inducing violence in Mexico and Central America and causing a flood of unaccompanied minors into our country.”

Ravenel says he supports former U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint‘s view that legal immigration avenues – including a “robust worker visa program” – are the best way to address the issue from an economic and national security standpoint.

“When you’re looking for the bad guys, you’re looking for needles in a haystack,” Ravenel said.  “Having over 11 million undocumented workers creates millions of forged documents, which provide cover for the bad guys.”

Ravenel, Graham, Democratic nominee Brad Hutto and Libertarian nominee Victor Kocher will face voters on November 4.

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