Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (OR-05) provided a critical vote to help deliver the passage of H.R. 2, also known as the Child Deportation Act, in early May 2023. The bill is not a serious policy proposal for addressing the challenges at the border. It’s all politics that is far too often laced with rhetorical echos of white nationalist conspiracies that create the climate for hate-fueled violence.
Over the months where it wound its way through the House and from the very beginning of the debate over the Child Deportation Act on the House floor, Chavez-DeRemer’s Republican colleagues promoted the bill with white nationalist conspiracy theories about “replacement” and “invasion” that have inspired multiple domestic terrorist attacks.
Chavez-DeRemer’s Congressional biography describes her family’s immigration story and her desire “to ensure future generations are afforded the same opportunities that my family had,” noting she seeks “common ground to support safe and legal immigration to ensure those who want to enter our country legally can do so.” But her support in passing H.R. 2 could deny many today their chance at the American Dream.
In her statement supporting H.R. 2, Chavez-DeRemer talks about the urgent fentanyl crisis, but H.R.2 does not help tackle the issue. Her suggestion otherwise is disingenuous at best. She goes on to say “I also believe this legislation could have gone further and provided a pathway to lawful permanent residence for noncitizens brought to the U.S. as children. They deserve stability and a fair chance, and this is an issue I’ll be addressing moving forward.” But instead of standing up to the extremists in her party, Chavez-DeRemer helped pass a failed and cruel deterrence-only approach. And she again promoted her own immigrant heritage, saying she would work “to ensure future generations are afforded the same opportunities that my family had by encouraging safe and legal immigration,” despite voting for the exact opposite for a bill that could close off many safe and legal channels for migration
Chavez-DeRemer sided with the extremists and obstructionists. Chavez-DeRemer provided a critical vote to gut asylum, increase child and family detention, and create a show-me-your-papers scenario in the midst of future natural disaster relief efforts. Beyond cruelty, this bill does nothing to create solutions. Its centerpiece is, again, Trump’s wasteful and ineffective wall. Meanwhile, the GOP legislation would destroy legal pathways, including parole programs that create new legal pathways to the U.S. that alleviate pressures at the border.
Actions speak louder than words, and Chavez-DeRemer chose party over the communities and businesses she represents.