New Jersey Governor and potential 2016 Republican contender Chris Christie has taken the next step in embracing anti-immigrant politics by signing onto a brief seeking to block immigration executive action programs. As Elise Foley of the Huffington Post reports:
“After months of staying out of the legal battle over the president’s executive actions on immigration, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) finally — but quietly — waded in this week.
Christie joined Republican Govs. Greg Abbott of Texas, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Dennis Daugaard of South Dakota in filing a brief on Monday that asked an appeals court to maintain an injunction that has prevented the Obama administration from moving forward with deportation relief programs it proposed in November 2014.
The brief says Texas, New Jersey, Louisiana and South Dakota would face ‘irreparable injuries’ should those programs be allowed to move forward.”
The “irreparable injuries” are more likely to be incurred by the 204,000 New Jersey residents who would qualify for DAPA and the expanded DACA programs announced by President Obama and that Gov. Christie is intent to block and deny. As a reminder, those eligible for these programs are parents of U.S. citizen kids with deep roots and ties to America, as well as the Dreamers who have been in the U.S. the longest. As a recent study from UCLA projected, those eligible for the executive action programs would generate an additional $490 million dollars to the state of New Jersey through wage growth directly related to expanded economic opportunities.
According to Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director of America’s Voice, “After garnering some good will with Latinos by supporting a state version of the Dream Act in New Jersey, Gov. Christie is now undermining it by lining up with the anti-immigrant hardliners in his Party and embracing their signature policy goal: deportation of DREAMers and the parents of American citizens. It’s sad but not surprising. Christie has already stooped to kiss the ring of Steve King, and now he’s lining up with King on policy as well.”
Earlier this year, we noted that Gov. Christie’s appearance at the Iowa Freedom Summit, organized by the viciously anti-immigrant Rep. Steve King, represented a disturbing break from Gov. Christie’s past record on immigration – which was relatively moderate for a Republican governor and included some decided pro-reform sentiments and several important legislative wins, such as an in-state tuition bill. A Latino Decisions poll from July 2013 even showed him leading a pack of potential GOP contenders amongst Latino Voters. Now, however, it’s clear that Christie has no intention of maintaining any sort of moderate stance on immigration.
Said Tramonte: “This decision by Republican Party candidates to embrace anti-immigrant politicking will come back to haunt them, once the primaries are over and they have to face the general electorate.”