Here we go: Republican candidate launches first major anti-amnesty ad of the midterms

Via Michael Warren and DrewM, a milestone out of Arkansas courtesy of Tom Cotton’s campaign. Granted, an ad like this is a lower-stakes gamble in a red state; you probably won’t see Cory Gardner try something like it in Colorado, for instance, where the Latino population is larger. But the fact that Cotton’s willing to try it at all given the endless refrain from the commentariat that immigration’s a liability for the GOP is proof that at least some Republicans think the wind is blowing a different way now. And it’s also a warning to Obama that this is now officially a live issue in the midterms, with unpredictable results to follow if he goes ahead with that executive mega-amnesty he’s planning. Make a note: As of today, Cotton leads Pryor by anywhere from two to four points. If his lead starts to widen after this, other red-state Republican candidates will follow with amnesty attacks and if they gain ground, maybe O and his team will have a huddle about that mega-amnesty after all.

Speaking of which, Luis “They Hate Our Children” Gutierrez all but admitted on Friday that Ted Cruz and other conservatives are right. DACA, Obama’s 2012 amnesty for DREAMers, is in fact an incentive for illegals to cross the border, whether intentionally or not:

“I have 15-year-olds in my office today, who came to my office today, and you know what we told them? ‘You don’t qualify for DACA.’ Why? Because they came here four years ago, when they were 11, and they weren’t here by 2007,” Gutiérrez told reporters Friday evening as the House prepared to vote on a border supplemental bill and legislation freezing the DACA program.

Gutiérrez continued:

You had to be like seven or eight in 2007 to be 15 today to qualify for DACA. Look, here’s what I do believe happened: the criminal enterprises that exist in El Salvador and Guatemala said, ’Hm, let’s confuse the people. Let’s use lies and falsehoods to entice people to pay me $6,000 under a false premise and a false promise.’ I mean, if I ask you for $6,000 just to get you to the border, you might say, ‘maybe;’ if I say, ‘hey, by the way, once I get you there you get permiso, a permit, it’s a very different thing. And what they’re talking about — a permit is really, I believe is, you’re required to show up under the law. I think that’s what they’re talking about. I don’t know, I’m not a part of the criminal enterprise, but you can imagine. So do I think that there is some of that going on? I think there is some of that going on.

DACA gave traffickers a reason to tell kids abroad, “The U.S. is letting young illegals stay now,” even though that’s untrue for children who weren’t already here at the time. Whether that was a deliberate lie or a misunderstanding is unclear, but here we are. Obama could, a la Cruz, announce that enrollment in DACA is now closed and then broadcast that fact to Central America; instead he’s planning to expand the program further to incorporate five million adult illegals. What do you suppose traffickers will do with that development?

Update: Aha, turns out Cotton’s not quite the first candidate to flag immigration in an ad. I missed this one from last week from Scott Brown — who’s not, needless to say, running in a deep red state.