Rep. Tom Kean (NJ-07) 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, Kean’s Republican colleagues promoted the bill with white nationalist conspiracy theories about “replacement” and “invasion” that have inspired multiple domestic terrorist attacks.
In his statement supporting H.R. 2, Kean falsely asserts that H.R.2 helps tackle the fentanyl crisis, but it does not. He also claims, “With this legislation, America will continue to shine bright for those across the world who seek the American Dream, while still supporting a robust system of legal immigration that upholds and respects the rule of law.” It sounds like he didn’t read the bill he voted for.
Instead, Kean, voted to turn off that light and sided with the extremists and obstructionists. Kean 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 Kean chose party over the communities and businesses he represents.