More breaking news from Congress today about new committee and subcommittee chairs: House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) has announced his pick for the new House Immigration Subcommittee Chair—Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC). Here’s what we know:
- Gowdy supported Lamar Smith’s STEM Jobs Act—twice—voting yes on a bill that would increase STEM visas for high-skilled workers at the expense of the diversity visa.
- He’s earned an “A-“ rating from restrictionist group NumbersUSA.
- He co-sponsored a bill that would have prohibited the Department of Justice from suing states that passed punitive anti-immigrant laws, like Arizona and Alabama.
- He opposed President Obama’s recent deferred action for DREAMers (DACA) announcement, challenging Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano over the Obama Administration’s use of prosecutorial discretion.
In short: Gowdy’s policy positions are very similar to the previous Chair, Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA) and his anti-immigrant amigos, Reps. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Steve King (R-IA). That means Gowdy is not going to do any favors for a Republican Party desperate for more support amongst Latino voters. Our Executive Director, Frank Sharry, had this to say about Gowdy:
He’s unlikely to be the kind of loudmouth wing nut that Steve King would have been, but his policy positions are eerily similar. He supports unconstitutional power grabs by states that pass Arizona-style anti-immigrant laws and opposes the President’s policy to offer relief to young people who are American in all but paperwork. If the Republican Party wants to get right on immigration reform that puts 11 million immigrants on the road to citizenship, I suspect they’ll have to go around him or over him.