I can talk about this debate from my knowledge of history and the Scots-Irish experience in Virginia, but it mainly comes down to economics. There are a lot of tobacco farmers in Virginia that are coming under intense pricing pressure and have become reliant on immigrant labor in the past few years. I'm also seeing more farmers growing burley tobacco which brings a higher profit, but is more labor intensive even for innovative farmers in Southside Virginia.
There has also been a sharp decline in native born young people willing to do this work in the Southside region of Virginia. The economic pressure on farmers can make many change their vote right after harvest.
This could have a huge blowback effect in November. Just like it was for Virgil Goode in 2008. I was really hoping that my party would come to its senses on this issue in 2010.
Mike wants to see a Republican stand up to call for comprehensive immigration reform, like libertarian Jeff Flake of Arizona is advocating. I'll remind him that we all know what that is code for: amnesty. Perriello ran on amnesty in 2008 and still supports comprehensive immigration reform--which is just another way of saying amnesty. There is one and only one solution to this crisis, which is to treat this with the same threat and seriousness as the War on Terror or the War on Drugs. We need to turn the Mexican border into our version of the Berlin Wall to keep everyone out. Virgil Goode knows this and it seems that Robert Hurt is finally on board. This is the best move made by the Hurt campaign so far. They know exactly what to do!