On the heels of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's announcement thatnext week, his Republican opponent Sharron Angle is out with a new ad calling Reid "the best friend an illegal alien ever had."
The harsh ad says Reid's policies are "putting Americans' safety and jobs at risk," highlighting the unique confluence of economic and immigration problems in Nevada. The state is struggling with the nation's highest unemployment rate, which stands at 14.3 percent, as well as the highest share of undocumented workers in the nation, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.
More than half of Nevadans think undocumented immigrants are taking jobs away from Nevada citizens, a recent Las Vegas Review-Journal poll showed.
Angle's ad blasts Reid for voting to give "special tax breaks to illegal aliens" and to give them Social Security benefits "even for the time they were here illegally." The Review-Journal reports that the ad is referencing Reid's votes on some amendments, offered in 2006 by Nevada GOP Sen. John Ensign, to prohibit undocumented immigrants applying for legal status from collecting tax refunds.
Angle has come out in support of Arizona's controversial immigration law, which makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally, as well as other conservative approaches to immigration. She nonetheless is courting Hispanics, who make up 26 percent of Nevada's population and accounted for 15 percent of the electorate in 2008.
Reid, meanwhile, has been touting his alliance with Nevada's Hispanic community. Yesterday he said he would insert the DREAM Act into a Defense authorization bill that is going up for a vote next week. The DREAM Act would provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented young people who came to the United States as minors and attended college or joined the military.
Stephanie Condon is a political reporter for CBSNews.com. You can read more of her posts here. Follow Hotsheet on Facebook and Twitter.