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Illegal immigration is becoming an issue on the GOP campaign trail in Pa, with candidates tying the contentious debate to worries over the economy.Limbaugh graphic

While immigration was the main issue two years ago for Lou Barletta in District 11, Arizona's tough new illegal immigration law has put it back in the headlines lately, drawing support from Pat Toomey (challenging his attempts to be a centrist in the fall) and provoked concern from fellow conservatives Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio in Florida.

Amnesty is a major talking point for Rush Limbaugh and fellow conservative agenda-makers right now, and it may not be by the time November rolls around. But -- back to Pa -- it may drive votes or spur GOP energy in the two-plus weeks before the May 18 primary.

I was in lovely Greenville, Pa., last night with about 60 other people for a Mercer County GOP meeting with the six District 3 congressional candidates (see our map of Pa congressional districts here). Butler car dealer Mike Kelly paired the immigration debate with the economy -- the biggest issue of all this year, but especially in NWPa, which has the worst unemployment rates in the state:

"When it becomes ally-ally in-free, and we start paying for their health care, and we start paying for their education, and we start paying for their housing -- please tell me, who's going to pay for all this? Look to your right and your left, at the people in front and behind you, because it will be us," Kelly said.

Other candidates addressed the issue too -- Clayton Grabb, who writes a Yard Signs blog for us here (and we welcome you to write your own), promises his next post will be on the subject.

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