Today, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) slammed Republicans for their coming full-scale attack against immigrants — and Lawrence Downes has a similar piece at the New York Times highlighting all the ways in which the GOP is reinforcing itself as the mass-deportation party. Next week’s GOP efforts aren’t just against President Obama’s recent executive action — they also target 2012’s DACA program, which has successfully recognized more than half a million young immigrants, allowing them to legally work and drive. The GOP has no solutions toward real immigration reform; what they’re championing will push people back into the shadows and result in more families being separated by deportation. Read Downes’ full piece here or below:
It’s a new year, with a new Congress, but the same old Republican Party hard line on immigration. Harder, actually.
The New York Times and Politico are reporting that the House is getting ready to vote next week on a legislative package that would repeal the broad executive actions taken by President Obama to protect immigrants from deportation. The idea is to gut the president’s ability to use discretion in deciding whom to deport, and to restore the enforcement dragnet that Mr. Obama and the Homeland Security Department recently, and wisely, curtailed.
The G.O.P. is not just seeking to undo the executive actions Mr. Obama announced last November, for young immigrants known as Dreamers and many of their parents. The party also wants to repeal earlier actions going back to 2012, protecting hundreds of thousands of Dreamers and the families of active-duty service members.
That is a lot of people to force back into the deportation line.
What’s striking about this early Republican move is that it is not just stray artillery fire from the party’s wingnut brigade, led by Representative Steve King of Iowa, but a product of the House leadership.
So much for the G.O.P. not being the scary party. This counts as a definite screw-you to immigrants from the party that keeps saying it wants to moderate its stance toward new Americans, and thus broaden its appeal beyond angry white people, but can never bring itself to do so.
Immigration-reform advocates pounced at the news on Friday. On a conference call for reporters on Friday afternoon, Lorella Praeli of the group United We Dream said this was a direct assault by the G.O.P. on 600,000 people who have already received protection from deportation under the program called DACA, and on their families.
“We will fight you in the courts, in the streets, at home and on Capitol Hill,” she said.
She and others noted that this effort — which seems destined to die in the Senate, or be vetoed by Mr. Obama — has nothing to with fixing the immigration problem, but will simply reinforce the lawless status quo.
“Only three words describe the Republican approach to immigrants: deportation, deportation, deportation,” said Representative Luis Gutiérrez, Democrat of Illinois, in a statement on Friday. “The ‘deport them all’ contingent in the Republican Party has the pen and the gavel in the House. I know the Republicans will stop at nothing, but I didn’t think they would start with everything.”