No words can describe just who exactly the House GOP thinks it’s fooling, in releasing this new video today celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.
The video begins by featuring House GOP leaders John Boehner, Eric Cantor, and Kevin McCarthy, before going on to speaking parts from Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Bill Flores, and Raul Labrador, a couple of them speaking in Spanish, all of them saying vague platitudes about the contributions of Hispanics.
The video* is perhaps the latest effort to satisfy this year’s RNC directive to make the Party friendlier to immigrants, Latinos, and minorities. But it’s incredibly rich to think that such a video will go anywhere when some of the people in it are reasons #1, 2, 3 of why Congress has yet to pass immigration reform–a key priority of Hispanics and Latino voters. Seriously, there’s a reason why the only policy prescription the RNC included in its March report was a plea to reform immigration.
Yes, Diaz-Balart and Ros-Lehtinen are immigration reform supporters who are in favor of a path to citizenship. And Raul Labrador was part of the House Group of 8 on immigration before he left, citing irreconcilable differences in June. But Boehner, Cantor, and McCarthy? Hardly the best ambassadors for the GOP to the Latino community. There are already enough votes in the House to pass immigration reform with a path to citizenship–if it weren’t for the Hastert excuse that Boehner and his buddies are clinging onto—and House GOP leadership is the only thing standing in the way of making reform a reality this year.
Policy-wise, they’re leaving our nation’s immigration system in the hands of Steve King–an anti-immigrant blowhard who compares immigrants to animals, claims that most DREAMers are actually drug mules with “calves the size of cantaloupes,” and thinks that members of self-identified ethnic groups are people who “feel sorry for themselves.” Steve King is also the only guy whose policy preferences on immigration have been voted on by the entire House, when Boehner allowed a vote on King’s June amendment to deport DREAMers and others.
We’re guessing that’s not stuff that the House GOP would want to put in a Hispanic outreach video. But that’s their real record on immigration—at least, until they finally decide to give us our vote.
* Also check out this online campaign from Reform Immigration for America, which is asking its Facebook and Twitter followers to comment on the video and ask the House GOP leadership to pass immigration reform.