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House Republican Leaders Declare New Public Enemy #1: Young Immigrants

 

Goodlatte the latest to go after children fleeing violence and call for the deportation of DREAMers

When it comes to immigration demagoguery, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) is just the latest to pile on.  This week, at a hearing he chaired and another event, he made it clear that he believes immigrant children are a problem.  He called the arrival of refugee children at the U.S. border a “tsunami” and called on President Obama to rescind DACA for DREAMers.  He set aside any pretense of supporting immigration reform and aligning himself in words and deed with the likes of Rep. Steve King, who has made attacking DREAMers a personal mission.

The hearing Goodlatte chaired was named: “An Administration Made [sic] Disaster: The South Texas Border Surge of Unaccompanied Alien Minors.”  In other words, the hearing started with the conclusion rather than a search for facts and solutions.  Then, at an event hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, he had this to say about DREAMers and DACA:

They should not be under a process created that the president doesn’t have the authority to do, and they would be in the status that they were in prior to this program being established….Whether they came in illegally or whether they entered the country legally and overstayed a visa or a visa waiver, they should be required to leave.  That’s what the law says and that’s how the law should be enforced.

Earlier this week, according to Huffington Post, Rep. Darrell Issa was “asking colleagues to sign on to a letter to the president demanding he end a program that keeps young people with longstanding ties to the U.S. from being deported.” While discussing Speaker Boehner’s lawsuit against the President over executive actions, Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) indicated the DACA program was the “most objectionable and deserving of a challenge.”

Republicans in the House have misrepresented the Obama Administration’s enforcement record, and have refused to take up immigration reform supported by the American people. This will have serious moral and economic consequences.  But what makes this all the more baffling is that this stance also works against Republicans politically, with impacts on key races in 2014 and in the big prize in 2016.  As Senator John McCain himself said this week: “I can’t tell you we have a great shot at [passing reform this year].”  But I know the consequences of failure.”

“If anyone knows the consequences of failure, it is McCain, along with Mitt Romney.  And if anyone seems doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past, it’s the GOP,” said Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice.