Rep. Elton Gallegly is the most important California Member of Congress dealing with immigration that you’ve never heard of. But if his hard-line views become law, he could ruin the state’s economy – and his party’s prospects with Latino voters.
Gallegly is the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration. He works in concert with Representatives Lamar Smith and Steve King on a strategy they call “attrition through enforcement.” That’s code for mass deportation.
Yes, Gallegly wants to force a mass exodus of undocumented immigrants from the United States — said as much at his first hearing:
“Good morning,” Gallegly begins. “I have long said that the way to solve the problem of illegal immigration is fairly simple.
“First, we must enforce our laws and secure the border. Second, we must remove the magnets that encourage illegal immigration. And finally, we must remove the benefits that make it easier for them to stay.”
In other words, if it’s not easy for “them” to stay, they leave.
A recent profile of Gallegly in the Daily Beast provided some background on just how hard-core his anti-immigrant views are:
If Gallegly is seen as less hawkish on immigration than King, it may be a matter of style, not substance. Gallegly tends to keep a lower profile and is rarely found on the cable-news circuit, but his legislative record is as hard-line as they come. He has taken up the cause of denying citizenship to children born in this country to illegal immigrants, introducing so-called birthright-citizenship legislation two decades ago. Gallegly also has supported measures that would make English the official language and allow states to deny public education to the kids of illegal immigrants. In 2004, he voted for a bill that would cut off federal funding for hospitals that don’t report the immigration status of certain patients.