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Today, the leaders of the House Mass Deportation Caucus, Reps. Elton Gallegly (R-CA), Steve King (R-IA) and Lamer Smith (R-TX), have organized a hearing that they’ve disingenuously titled “Making Immigration Work for American Minorities.” That’s not what it’s about. Yes, the Gallegly/King/Smith crew now feign concern about how immigration affects African-American and other minority groups. This new found concern is a particularly craven attempt to rebrand their mass deportation agenda on immigration. Once again, their actual voting records differ substantially from their rhetoric.
Using civil rights scorecards for the 111th Congress issued by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the NAACP, America’s Voice found that the Republicans trying to portray themselves as defenders of minority workers actually have dismal voting records on issues of importance to these key institutions. Read our analysis, specifically:
House Immigration Subcommittee Chair Rep. Elton Gallegly received a 0% on the Leadership Conference scorecard and a F grade, 18%, on the NAACP scorecard;
Rep. Steve King received a 0% on the Leadership Conference scorecard and a F grade, 8%, on the NAACP scorecard; and
House Judiciary Chair Rep. Lamar Smith received a 6% on the Leadership Conference scorecard and a F grade, 18%, from the NAACP.
Can’t get much lower. In other words, despite the cloying overtures to minority workers that we are likely to hear today, the voting records of this hearing’s organizers simply don’t match their rhetoric. That makes this hearing an even bigger sham.
AV’s staff will be livetweeting from the hearing.
It’s just another day and another hypocritical attempt by Republican immigration hardliners to disguise their mass deportation agenda in more popular terms. But these politicians have been voting against the rights of workers for years. This hearing is a transparent attempt to rebrand their extreme, anti-immigration agenda, and it won’t work. Instead of a public relations strategy, voters want a policymaking strategy that results in real, comprehensive immigration reform.
Indeed, Gallegly and King have made “birthright citizenship” one of their signature issues, and drawn a strong backlash from civil rights groups because of it. The Leadership Conference and other organizations have joined forces in Americans for Constitutional Citizenship, a coalition of leaders and organizations opposed to gutting the 14th Amendment.
As if their rank hypocrisy wasn’t bad enough, the Committee leaders are wrong on the facts, as well. A series of recent economic studies and analyses have concluded that immigrants do not harm African American workers and that comprehensive immigration reform would be a boon to the U.S. economy, strengthen tax revenue, and raise wages for native-born workers across education and skill levels.