Does the name “CIS” ring an anti-immigrant bell?
The group, created by white nationalist John Tanton, is probably best known for handcrafting the notorious “self-deportation” strategy that helped tank Mitt Romney’s 2012 Presidential bid among Latino, Asian, and immigrant voters.
Congressional Republicans, having not learned any lessons from their 2012 presidential level shellacking, once again invited the group’s policy director, Jessica Vaughan, to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on the unaccompanied minors fleeing gang violence and death in Central America.
“Established gangs have been able to transfer an unknown number of experienced foot soldiers from Central America to help colonize new criminal territory in the United States,” Vaughan said in her Trumpian testimony to the committee.
“The tide of new young people, many of whom have already been exposed or involved in street gangs at home, has provided a huge pool of new recruits for the gangs here. Gangs such as MS-13 and 18th Street are enjoying a brutal revival in certain parts of the country and are establishing themselves in new places.”
Wow. Leave it to CIS to blame victims of violence for violence.
CIS has always been nothing more than a spin operation for anti-immigrant legislators, with Republicans inviting the group to testify before them because the group says exactly what Republicans want to hear.
In fact, the Center for New Community estimates that CIS has testified before the House Judiciary Committee at least 40 times since 2003.
That’s a lot of times to hear from folks who spew some pretty disgusting rhetoric. Some of their most egregious comments have come from CIS’s senior policy analyst Stephen Steinlight, who at a Tea Party rally in 2014 said being “hung, drawn, and quartered” was “probably too good” for President Obama.
“We’ve got to be grownups and accept that we can’t have everything we want, you know, [like] his head on a skewer,” he concluded.
Just a few months before that, Steinlight had some words for religious leaders of immigration reform, commenting that “God help me, find a baseball bat, there would be a whole lot fewer of them around.”
Now, as their party faces dismal support from Latinos thanks to the ugly rhetoric from Donald Trump, House Republicans seem to think that inviting Steinlight’s colleague to vilify Central American children fleeing one of the deadliest regions of the world for the safety of the United States is a good idea.
So, Immigration Subcommittee Chairman Trey Gowdy, Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, Rep. Raul Labrador, and Rep Steve King might gobble up what CIS spews, but pardon us if we’re doubtful of their deplorable claims about innocent children — and the rest of their gross anti-immigrant propaganda.