The new House Immigration Subcommittee assignments are out, and its composition is not going to be helping Republicans with Latino voters anytime soon. There’s the infamous Rep. Steve King (R-IA) himself, of “calves the size of cantaloupes” fame. There’s Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC), whom we once described as “unlikely to be the kind of loudmouth wing nut that Steve King would have been, but his policy positions are eerily similar.” Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) opposes a path to citizenship for immigrants, meaning he wants to leave them with permanent second-class status. There’s Lamar Smith (R-TX), who along with King used to be one of our “three amigos” opposing immigration.
We recently wrote about newcomer Ken Buck (R-CO), who in 2010 campaigned hard on one of the biggest workplace immigration raids in US history. That leaves two freshman members, Dave Trott (R-MI) and John Ratcliffe (R-TX).
Trott, whom in his 2014 campaign was known as the “Foreclosure King” for the work he did as a lawyer, supports ‘border security first,’ which is common parlance for anti-immigrant Republicans to mean ‘real reform never.’ He made a practice of using immigrants to fear-monger, claiming that his Democratic opponent Bobby McKenzie would be too soft on the issue. As Trott’s campaign manager Megan Pinowar is quoted as saying on Trott’s campaign website:
There is no overstating the threat of illegal immigration. We must secure our borders, especially during this time of health crisis and national uncertainty. Mr. McKenzie cannot be trusted to protect our families.
Also according to his website, Trott opposed any kind of legalization or citizenship for undocumented immigrants, ever: “Dave will not support amnesty and will not allow illegal immigrants to have legal status.”
John Ratcliffe was a former US Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas, and during his tenure he (like Ken Buck) pushed for a workplace raid that led to the arrest of dozens. (As if that weren’t bad enough, on his campaign website he boasted about the number being “300 illegal aliens in a single day”.) As a candidate, he was endorsed by the extremist Minuteman Project and advocates jail time for those caught crossing the border. He supports the same self-deportation platform that led to Mitt Romney losing the 2012 election and opposes a path to citizenship for immigrants: “That just isn’t going to help this country,” he told Chuck Todd last year.
Between Buck, Trott, and Ratcliffe, it looks like the Steve King wing of the House Immigration Subcommittee has picked up more support.