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On Immigration, Republicans Try to Mainstream the Extreme

America's Voice | Released on 01/28/2011

Radical Attack on U.S. Constitution Met by Silence from Fellow GOPers

Washington – The push by Republican policymakers at the federal and state level to change the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution shows the depth to which the Republican Party has plunged in its zeal to “crackdown on immigrants.”  Shockingly, no prominent Republican legislators have denounced this latest move by the anti-immigration wing of the GOP.  Yesterday, U.S. Senators David Vitter (R-LA) and Rand Paul (R-KY) even gave the effort a boost by introducing a federal resolution backing it.  This follows a Republican-organized conference in Miami that was supposed to “change the tone” of the way the GOP talks to Latino and immigrant voters.  Clearly, Republicans in Washington didn’t get the memo.

At the Hispanic Leadership Conference, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush said: “My personal belief is a majority of conservatives want to see comprehensive reform after border security.”  He said that the Republican Party as a whole wants to solve immigration issues, but a vocal minority dominates the discussion.  However, the lack of prominent conservative and Republican policymakers pushing back against the proposed Constitutional amendment, and other extreme approaches, cements the image of a Republican Party completely dominated by its nativist wing. 

Unless other Republicans step up to denounce these extreme proposals and prove Governor Bush right, the GOP will soon become a regional party.

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “The Republican Party is imploding over the immigration issue and they don’t even know it.  The push to repeal birthright citizenship along with the other extreme, mass deportation immigration proposals pushed by House Republicans is the only dialogue you’re hearing from Republicans on immigration these days.  Coming after the recent DREAM Act debate – where more than 90% of Republican senators voted against the futures of young Latinos, live on Spanish language TV – the Republican Party has a major political problem on its hands for 2012 with Latino voters.”

In addition to the political problem for the GOP, the Party’s push to revert our Constitution to what it looked like before the civil war also has serious legal and cultural problems.  Walter Dellinger, former Solicitor General of the United States, stated earlier this month: “This matter has been raised in every instance in a racial context.  That’s why we wanted a simple rule:  Every new girl or boy born in this country is simply, indisputably, an American.”  And today, Thomas Saenz of MALDEF issued a statement urging the federal policymakers behind the repeal effort, Senators David Vitter (R-LA) and Rand Paul (R-KY), “to recognize that their oath to uphold the Constitution demands fidelity to our nation’s deepest, hard-fought values and rejection of any nostalgic retrogression to caste-based exclusions.”

 America’s Voice — Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform.

www.americasvoiceonline.org

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