It's probably not a narrative that Phil Murphy wants to dominate the final days of the New Jersey governor's race.
During a debate earlier this month, the Democratic nominee said he'd consider making New Jersey a "sanctuary state" to protect some undocumented immigrants from deportation -- a left-of-center stance that took some Democrats by surprise.
Ever since, a complex national argument over immigration policy has suddenly become a late-in-the-game focus of the Nov. 7 election to succeed Gov. Chris Christie.
The Republican nominee, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, has latched onto the issue as she tries to hack away at Murphy's double-digit lead in the polls. She's released a controversial campaign ad suggesting Murphy would protect "deranged murderers," announced she would withhold state funds from "sanctuary" cities, and held a news conference painting Murphy as being too soft on crime.
The question is: Will this actually cost Murphy on Election Day?
Conventional wisdom says no. New Jersey is a heavily Democratic and heavily diverse state with a large immigrant population.
Still, with turnout expected to be low, Guadagno's camp is hopeful the issue will energize Republicans to flock to the polls. nj.