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File this one away for the next time Rand Paul claims he’s pro-immigrant.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul recently sat down with the far-right outlet WorldNetDaily to discuss immigration reform, an issue about which he has been all over the map. The Republican presidential candidate, who stated in 2013 that any legal status for undocumented immigrants should “start with DREAM Act kids” but backed last year’s GOP plan to end the program that protects DREAMers from deportation, told WND that “I would’ve voted ‘no’” on the DREAM Act.
Paul added that while it isn’t “fair” to send DREAMers “back to Mexico,” it also isn’t fair “to say they can stay and everybody else like them from Mexico can come also.”
“The DREAM Act alone I would’ve voted ‘no’ on because the DREAM Act didn’t fix the border,” he said.
Paul has been trying to rebrand himself as a “different kind” of Republican, saying “we need to normalize those [immigrants] who are here,” has repeatedly told Republicans “to reach out to young voters and minorities,” and has said we need to create an “eventual” path to citizenship.
So, it was a little surprising to hear him say that he’d vote against the DREAM Act, legislation that would put the very generation Rand says Republicans need to reach out to in order to win 2016, on a path to citizenship. But, when your most famous immigration move is dropping your burger mid-bite so you can bolt from two young immigrants, maybe it’s not too shocking after all.
Then there’s this “border first” business. As Republicans enter the 2016 race, more and more of them have been parroting this soundbite. But you don’t need Google Translate to figure out what they’re really saying: We (Republicans) have absolutely zero plans to get around to fixing our immigration system (unless, of course, the legislation involves something Mass-Deportation proponent Steve King wants Speaker Boehner to put up for a vote).
As we’ve written before, the “border first” phrase is at odds with the real facts on the ground regarding border security. The fact is that the border is already secure, and “border first, everything else second” is nothing more than an excuse from 2016 Republicans to avoid the most pressing issue in the immigration debate: What to do about the 11 million undocumented immigrants who have built deep roots, families, and lives in the United States.
Paul, though, has repeatedly made it clear where he stands on the 11 million. He not only voted against the Senate’s bipartisan immigration reform bill, he also openly condemned the immigration actions President Obama was forced to introduce late last year because Paul and the rest of Congress couldn’t get their act together in the first place.
Paul wants the Presidency badly, and he’s been really trying to sell himself as something different. But when it comes to his record, he’s been more in line with with the anti-immigrant dinosaurs intent on driving the GOP to extinction than this New Republican he keeps claiming to be. Voting with Jeff Sessions may please the “Get Out!” extremists in the base, but it doesn’t win national elections. Just ask Mitt Romney.
And then this “Deport DREAMers back to Mexico” business. It’s true that a good number of DACA-eligible youth are from Mexico. But DREAMers also come from all over the world — Central America, South America, Asia, the Caribbean. Paul’s generalization was sloppy, and flat-out cringeworthy considering how deep in the hole the Republican Party is with minority voters (at least he didn’t talk about our calves, right?).
But, it would make sense that Paul would have trouble knowing where Americans originally hail from when he’s so busy running away from them.