Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), was interviewed Sunday on Univision’s news show “Al Punto,” hosted by Jorge Ramos. During the interview, Steele declared he was “sick and tired of people playing the hot politics of immigration.”
I am hoping the (Obama) administration, as we get ready to go into next year and future years, bring a level head to (the issue). I am certainly arguing for Republicans to have a level head in dealing with this issue, because it affects people’s lives, whether they are here illegally or legally, it affects lives.
This sounds reasonable enough, but what Steele is forgetting is that those same Republicans in Congress have rarely treated the issue of immigration with common sense, and have ignored the fact that the lack of comprehensive immigration reform “affects lives”—including those of U.S. citizen children. While they refuse to discuss comprehensive reform, they continue to use undocumented immigration as a red herring to be raised along every other issue that comes up in Congressional debate.
Also worth noting are some of the unique answers Steele gave Ramos, such as this one, discussing the concept of assimilation in the context of immigration reform:
I can sum it up for you this way, the [Republican] party, as I said…is the party of assimilation and that is something that we believe in very firmly, and basically, what we should be saying is that there are rules that you need to get into the country, go the right door, fill out the right form, have some apple pie, hum a few bars of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ and get to work, God bless you, and I think that that begins to set us on the right road to dealing with this issue.
Steele didn’t mention that his Republican colleagues are part of the problem, preventing millions of immigrants from incorporating themselves into American society. On the one hand, they admit that it is impossible to deport 12 million people, but on the other, they oppose mechanisms that would legalize these people, guarantee that they pay taxes, and put them on the aforementioned road to assimilation.