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Rep. Gowdy Backtracks on Immigration, Claims He Won't "Force" Citizenship on Undocumented

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Nicole Belle at Crooks and Liars is calling out the hypocrisy and flip-flopping of Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), who sits on the House Judiciary Committee and chairs the House Immigration Subcommittee, appeared on FOX this weekend to talk to John Roberts about immigration reform in the House. Nicole captures the exchange:

House Immigration Subcommittee chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) was not that long ago telling the media that he was open to supporting the the Senate bill to address a broken immigration system:

A key House Republican who could have stalled the plan on the judiciary committee indicated Monday that he remains open to reform.

“The current immigration system is broken and inspires confidence in no one,” Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, chair of the House immigration subcommittee, said in a statement. “So, proposals which balance the humanity which defines us as a people with respect for the rule of law which defines us as a republic are welcome.”

The Senate’s plan would cater to Democrats by allowing immigrants already in the country illegally to apply for legal status; meanwhile, the package seeks to appeal to Republicans by increasing border security via drones and more border agents, among other provisions.

But obviously the agents of obstruction in the House have gotten to Gowdy, because he’s put the brakes on pushing to pass the bill in the House. Why, we could be forcing citizenship on 11 million people who don’t necessarily want it!

The other thing to keep in mind, John, is the eleven million is not a homogeneous group. All of the eleven million do not desire citizenship. So it would be curious indeed to force citizenship on someone who does not want it.

What in the hell is he talking about?

Yeah. What? Gowdy is right, the eleven million aren’t a “homogenous group.” But, he really doesn’t speak for them. If Gowdy is going to talk like he does speak for the undocumented, we suggest he take a look at the poll of undocumented immigrants, which Latino Decisions released in April. Here are some of the key findings:

Undocumented Immigrants are closely tied to the American citizens. 85% of undocumented immigrants have a family member who is a U.S. citizen.  Among these, 62% have at least one U.S. born child, and 29% have a spouse who is a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident. Beyond children or spouses, an additional 20% have another family member who is a U.S. citizen, such as a sibling, niece or nephew, aunt or uncle.


Undocumented immigrants want to be American citizens.   When asked what they would do if the law changed to allow a process for them to eventually apply for citizenship, an overwhelming 87% indicated their intention to become a U.S. citizen.

The American people are ready for real reform with a path to citizenship. The Democrats promised it. And, Republicans need it.