New Hampshire Democrats are doubling down on their opposition to increased immigration enforcement and doubling up on accusations that border security advocates are motivated by bigotry and hate.

During a recent state Senate debate over a bill banning sanctuary city policies in the Granite State, Sen. Shannon Chandley (D-Amherst) compared the issue to notorious actions of racism in the past.

“Would I have spoken up against the persecution of the Jews during the build-up to World War II?” Chandley asked. “Would I have defended my Japanese neighbors from internment camps, and would I have raised my voice to oppose Jim Crow laws?”

Later, Chandley added, “We have at various times in our history rejected the other, rejected the one who is different from us. We have taken actions to demonize and dehumanize the immigrant.”

The sanctuary-city ban passed the Senate in a party-line vote.

Days later, state Sen. Becky Whitley (D-Hopkinton) took offense during a Judiciary Committee hearing over a bill that blocked New Hampshire from recognizing driver’s licenses for “illegal aliens.”

“I have to take umbrage with the use of the term ‘illegal alien,’” Whitley lectured her colleagues. “It’s not a term that’s grounded in an individual’s humanity. An ‘individual who is undocumented’ is a more humane way to refer to these folks.”

Rather than backing down, Republicans are pushing back. They argue Democrats are more upset by allegedly offensive phrases than they are about the consequences of border chaos and a lack of law enforcement. They point to the example of President Joe Biden, who apologized for calling an alleged murderer “an illegal” but not for immigration policies they say made the murder possible.

In a recent radio interview, Gov. Chris Sununu said the Democrats’ stance on the immigration issue will hurt them in November.

“Democrats are on the wrong side of the issue; they don’t know what to do,” Sununu told WFEA radio host Drew Cline. “They’re putting themselves in a hole and allowing Republicans to go on the offensive, and we’ll do that all day long.”

And it isn’t just policy, Sununu added. Their rhetoric on immigration isn’t helping, either.

 “Somebody over there better get control of their language, or they’re in real trouble politically. Or don’t. I don’t care. It’s fine with me.”

Chandley also appeared on Cline’s program, where she repeated her argument that opposing sanctuary cities is akin to supporting Nazi Germany’s treatment of the Jews and Jim Crow racism.

“We can’t ignore that there have been times that we have not been our best selves, that we have put into law the kinds of things I talked about,” Chandley said. “I think [sanctuary city legislation] can be likened to legislation passed in the 1880s or the 1920s or the 1940s.”

The next day, Cline invited Sen. Daryl Abbas (R-Salem), one of the anti-sanctuary-city bill’s sponsors, to his show to respond.

“That was one of the most ridiculous statements I’ve heard as a senator,” said Abbas. “That was absurd.”

Abbas noted his father legally immigrated to the United States from Egypt, but he still gets accused of advocating “white supremacism.”

“When I hear that political rhetoric, do they even know what they’re talking about, or are they reading off a script? All that talk, all they’re doing as elected officials – there are people who think I work with hate groups because my Democratic colleagues put that in a press release.”

Meanwhile, Abbas said Chandley “couldn’t even say the word ‘illegal immigrant’” when he asked his colleagues during the Senate debate to distinguish between entering the country illegally and legally.

Former state GOP chair Fergus Cullen warned his party “risks going too far in their rhetoric when it comes to immigration and immigrants.

“Regular voters like the immigrants they know personally. Immigrants may be their health care provider, the small business owner who lives in their neighborhood, or the person who cares for their elderly parent living in a nursing home,” Cullen said.

“Republicans trying to out-Trump one another on this issue should dial it down.”

Polls show otherwise. A new Economist/YouGov survey released Wednesday named immigration one of the top issues in voters’ minds, with 87 percent saying it is very or somewhat important.

A Gallup poll released a week ago found that 55 percent of Americans view “large numbers of immigrants entering the United States illegally” as a “critical threat” to the United States over the next 10 years.

“Gallup has been polling on this question since 2004, and never in that two-decade period have Americans’ concerns about the unauthorized population been so heightened,” noted Andrew Arthur with the Center for Immigration Studies.