Boyd TV ad declares he’s tough on illegal immigration; some critics doubtful

Republican gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd’s latest TV ad depicts the millionaire businessman as tough on illegal immigration. The Tennessean reports some critics contend he’s being hypocritical.

They point to a donation Boyd made in the past to a Nashville-based nonprofit that seeks to create a welcoming community for Latino families, and his position with a national higher education organization started during President Barack Obama’s administration to suggest his views on immigration are suspect.

…Boyd said his donation to Conexión Américas, service on the College Promise Campaign and outspoken opposition to illegal immigration are separate issues that are unrelated.

“We invested in an entrepreneurial kitchen so that we could help more entrepreneurs start their businesses,” Boyd said of the $250,000 donation.

He said the money was used to help jumpstart 20 new businesses.

“It has nothing to do with immigration or in-state tuition,” he said.

Although Boyd has faced criticism of being soft on immigration, he says such claims come from his political opponents.

“As governor, I’m going to enforce the laws,” he said, offering a critique of national elected officials’ lack of movement on the issue.

“What I would suggest is that the people that are in Congress right now that actually have the opportunity to fix immigration, go back to Washington, D.C. and fix immigration so that a governor doesn’t have to deal with it,” Boyd said.

Although Boyd has faced criticism of being soft on immigration, he says such claims come from his political opponents.

“As governor, I’m going to enforce the laws,” he said, offering a critique of national elected officials’ lack of movement on the issue.

“What I would suggest is that the people that are in Congress right now that actually have the opportunity to fix immigration, go back to Washington, D.C. and fix immigration so that a governor doesn’t have to deal with it,” Boyd said.

Note: The right-wing Tennessee Star has been referring to Boyd as “La Raza Randy” for months, citing Conexion Americas donation – which the organization says went toward expanding kitchen space used in training young entrepreneurs. Diane Black’s campaign has pointed out that the College Promise Campaign has helped in providing some federal financial aid to undocumented students. More recently, Tennessee Star this week has a post that saying both Boyd and House Speaker Beth Harwell have had past dealings with Renata Soto, founder and director of Conexion Americas, that “helped elevate her influence in political circles.”(In Boyd’s case, the Conexion Americas stuff is repeated. In Harwell’s case, the tie is, well, rather convoluted, and has to do with Soto serving on the now-defunct Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission.)

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