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GOP Drives to the Right of Mitt Romney on Immigration

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Extremism Now the Rule in Republican Party

Washington, DC –It’s no secret that Republicans have rejected their own post-2012 consensus to rebrand their image to Latino voters and reposition themselves on immigration policy.  And as fresh anti-immigrant and extremist comments from 2016 GOP contenders and others continue to pile up, it’s clear that Republicans are not only matching Mitt Romney’s harsh anti-immigration posturing, they’re actually racing beyond him.   

See below from some recent examples of the GOP demagoguery:

Rand Paul Endorses House Bill to Deport DREAMers and Others: As Sen. Rand Paul told conservative outlet Breitbart News during a medical mission in Guatemala, “I’m supportive of the House bill and I think it will go a long way to fixing the problem.”  As was later clarified to Sam Stein of the Huffington Post, Paul was referring to the package of bills that passed the House at the end of June—one to expedite the deportations of refugee children and the other to fully eliminate DACA and resume the deportation of DREAMers and others.  As Ed Kilgore of Washington Monthly puts it: “So the great Man of Principle, Sen. Rand Paul, who is forever proclaiming himself pro-immigration, has now made it clear he supports House legislation shutting down the DACA program.”  MSNBC’s Steve Benen states: “[T]his latest posture will permanently ruin the senator’s relationship with much of the Latino community.”

Despite Zero Evidence, Rick Perry Suggests ISIS Terrorists Sneaking Across U.S. Border: Said the Republican Texas Governor at a Heritage Foundation event, “There’s the obvious great concern that, because of the condition of the border from the standpoint of it not being secure and us not knowing who’s penetrating across, that individuals from ISIS and other terrorist states could be — and I think there’s a very real possibility that they may have already used that.”

Rich Lowry’s Hyperbolic Prescriptions Continue an Ugly GOP Trend: Per a tweet from NBC’s Kasie Hunt, “Rich Lowry of @NRO says people who suggest there’s work Americans won’t do ‘should be shot, should be hanged.’”  Lowry added, per a tweet from Talking Point Memo’s Sahil Kapur, “Obama’s executive action on immigration ‘may precipitate a constitutional crisis.’”

Tom Tancredo Threatens Impeachment Should Obama Act on Executive Action:  As the former GOP Rep. Tom Tancredo from Colorado told Sahil Kapur of Talking Points Memo when asked about the President’s potential executive action on immigration, “It’s unconstitutional. He should be impeached if he tries it.”  Tancredo also added the following message for Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) on impeachment: “Do you do what’s right or do you look at it from a political standpoint? You can say, gee, we probably couldn’t convict him.  Of course, Democrats will take full advantage of this and say it’s because he’s black. But if it’s the right thing to do it’s the right thing to do. But if you don’t do it then all of a sudden you have set a precedent for future presidents to violate the Constitution. You’ve raised the bar — you’ve made it harder to impeach somebody. It’s a very dangerous thing.”

AZ Republican Congressional Candidate Warns that Refugee Children from Central America Could Carry Ebola, Despite No Known Outbreaks in the U.S.:  Arizona Republican congressional candidate Andy Tobin told Tuscon Weekly, “Anything’s now possible.  So if you were to say the Ebola virus has now entered (the country), I don’t think anyone would be surprised.”  Added Tobin, acknowledging that outbreaks had been limited to Africa, “to the extent that they’re really aware of that. I think there is a reason we should be concerned about it and say, ‘Hey, can you assure us the people crossing the border are not from the Middle East?’ … So I use that as an example, that the public would not be surprised to hear about the next calamity at the border.”

RNC Official Warns that Refugee Children Are “Trained as Warriors,” and Could “Rise Up Against U.S.”: Per an assessment from RightWingWatch, “On her weekly radio show yesterday, RNC committeewoman Tamara Scott of Iowa warned that child migrants from Central America may have been ‘highly trained as warriors’ and could ‘rise up against’ U.S. citizens. ‘When we see these kids, you and I think young kids, we think maybe 12-year-olds, maybe homeschoolers — excuse me, middle-schoolers,’ said Scott, who is also Concerned Women for American’s Iowa state director and works as a lobbyist for the conservative group The Family Leader. ‘But we know back in our revolution, we had 12-year-olds fighting in our revolution. And for many of these kids, depending on where they’re coming from, they could be coming from other countries and be highly trained as warriors who will meet up with their group here and actually rise up against us as Americans.’”

According to Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director of America’s Voice:

When this whole ‘politics thing‘ doesn’t work out, at least Republicans can find work as grave-diggers.  They are really adept at digging themselves deeper and deeper holes.  They say immigrants should be deported—without exception—because they are disease-carrying, anti-American ‘warriors’ and terrorists.  It’s not just the extreme fringe of the GOP that’s peddling these lies, it’s so-called ‘mainstream’ 2014 and 2016 candidates.

Guess what?  Voters don’t like to hear their family members and friends vilified as disease-spreading terrorists.  They find it offensive.  And when the President finally steps up and makes bold changes in immigration enforcement–using his existing legal authorities—we can predict the GOP response will be more of the same.  They’re seeing Mitt Romney’s anti-immigration stance and raising it, with disastrous political consequences for elections to come.