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From Cheering DACA’s End To Stomping On Decades Of Asylum Law, Jordan’s Extreme Views Are Ascendant Inside The GOP

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Dreamers: Deported. Farm Workers: Deported. Immigrant Families Here For 25 years: Deported. Economy: Ruined. For Those Who Care, Jim Jordan, Donald Trump Are Out To Ruin Your Re-election

Earlier on Tuesday, the United States House of Representatives took another vote to elect a Speaker, The GOP’s choice was Rep. Jim Jordan from Ohio. He secured votes of 200 members of his caucus, including Rep. Juan Ciscomani (AZ-06), John Duarte (CA-13), Mike Garcia (CA-25) David Valadao (CA-21), and Monica De La Cruz (TX-15) voted for Jordan. Here’s who they think should lead the House.

Jordan has been one of the leading xenophobic voices in Congress, most recently using his powerful and influential position as House Judiciary Committee chairman to amplify the white nationalist “great replacement” conspiracy theory.  Jordan used the same replacement theory rhetoric as a fundraising ploy in his 2022 campaign email calling to “end the invasion.”

Jordan has also threatened the everyday functioning of the United States government, by pushing a completely unworkable and cruel immigration demand as a precondition of keeping the federal government funded. Jordan made a “non-negotiable” proposal that demands that no funds be used to process or release recently-arrived migrants into the U.S., a request “not just wildly extreme, but would be entirely unworkable even if Democrats were inclined to accept them,” The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent writes.

But in truth, Jordan embodies the continued descent into nativist extremism by the Republican Party on immigration. In 2017, he applauded the Trump administration’s decision to rescind the popular and successful Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which has protected hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation, allowed them to work legally, and given families peace of mind.

When the Supreme Court ruled in 2020 that the Trump administration had unlawfully ended the program, Jordan bitterly condemned the decision, claiming that Chief Justice John Roberts, the deciding vote in Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California, was “convoluting the law to appease the D.C. establishment.” When President Joe Biden made the completely factual statement that immigrants like Dreamers can help with America’s labor shortage, Jordan demanded to know why we aren’t hiring Americans. Newsflash: Dreamers are Americans.

Jordan was among the voices that issued statements opposing the Trump administration at the height of the family separation crisis in 2018, claiming that “[n]o one wants to separate families.” But by 2021, with hundreds of children still separated from their families, Jordan insisted that the immigration “process that worked was the policies that were in place under the Trump administration. Let’s go back to those policies.” The most shocking of Trump’s border-centric, deportation-only and deterrence-focused policies was, of course, family separation.

The following year, Jordan was among dozens of Republican House members to attend an event organized by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), a Tanton network anti-immigrant hate group. FAIR and its founder, late eugenics-enthusiast John Tanton, “worked for decades to push the replacement and invasion racist fiction from the margins into the mainstream,” America’s Voice Political Director Zachary Mueller wrote at the time.

“This replacement and invasion theory has inspired multiple domestic terrorists to take the lives of dozens over the last few years from Charlottesville in 2017, to Pittsburgh in 2018, to El Paso in 2019, to the Capitol in 2021, and in Buffalo in May of this year,” Mueller said. “However, the lack of facts and the deadly white nationalist associations did not deter these Republicans. In fact, it attracted them.” It’s the GOP, with a major assist from Jordan, that has pushed this reprehensible ideology into the halls of Congress, and to a national audience, after taking control of the House following the 2022 midterms.

“Jordan used his position as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee to peddle Replacement theory in a Judiciary Hearing,” Rep. Summer Lee (D-PA) noted.  “I think it’s intentional,” Jordan said in his remarks. “It seems deliberate, it seems premeditated, it seems intentional…make no mistake about it, the Biden administration is carrying out its plan.” The Judiciary Committee, again under Jordan’s watch, also produced a video of Jordan pushing that message, falsely asserting without evidence that what’s happening on the border is “Intentional. It’s by design.” Jordan also tweeted a similar message in July of 2022, “The border crisis is intentional.” 

Kicking off his bid to replace ousted Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as House Speaker, Jordan touted H.R. 2, more appropriately known as the “Child Detention Act”, as the year’s “most significant legislative accomplishment.” Nevermind that this grab-bag of cruel and unworkable policies is only as valuable as the paper it’s printed on (if that), passing the House but then stalling. It was never a serious attempt at legislating, but rather for booking cable news appearances and providing fodder for campaign fundraising, as noted by observers

Remember, Jordan himself had already made clear in an internal memo that Republicans had no intention of actually crafting workable immigration solutions if they took control of the House, and instead planned to use the issue as a cudgel against Democrats. “A document prepared by Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio shows how Republicans plan to weaponize the issue of immigration as part of their midterm campaign strategy,” The New York Times reported last year. And, as Jordan readily admitted on coming into the majority: “I didn’t come to Congress to make more laws.” 

We know all too well how the kind of lies and conspiracy theories loudly pushed by Jordan and his allies threaten public safety and our democracy. Jordan has used the same “invasion” rhetoric cited by mass murderers in Pittsburgh, El Paso, and Buffalo, while also sowing unfounded uncertainty in our electoral system by repeatedly pushing the lie that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump. “One hundred forty-seven Republicans objected to the election results on January 6, 2021, but Jordan, with his constant television and radio appearances, was among the most vocal,” CNN reported.

Jordan defied a subsequent subpoena issued by the Jan. 6 committee, and was unanimously referred to the House Ethics Committee in Dec. 2022. But without a hint of irony at all, Jordan launched his run for House Speaker by claiming that he was ready to fight “pro-criminal policies.” Maybe start with yourself, Jim.

Jordan “sought to overturn the 2020 election, has repeatedly embraced the white nationalist and antisemitic ‘great replacement’ theory, and the accompanying ‘invasion’ rhetoric that together have inspired multiple domestic terrorist attacks; and his fealty to Donald Trump includes a shared commitment to immigration extremism and policy proposals that are both cruel and unworkable,” America’s Voice Executive Director Vanessa Cárdenas said. “Jim Jordan’s embrace of extreme white nationalist and antisemitic tropes and conspiracies are not befitting of any Member of Congress, let alone the Speaker of the House.”

The gavel may still be out of reach for Jordan – as of this writing – but his extremist anti-immigrant politics that are a threat to American democracy are surely ascendant inside the Republican Party.