Last week Rep. Jen Kiggans (VA-02) joined far-right anti-immigration extremists in approving two baseless but dangerous resolutions in the House of Representatives. This was more than simply voting the party line. Both of these resolutions advance the racist conspiracy theories and paranoia targeted at immigration and immigrants. In one vote, Rep. Kiggans joined in approving a House resolution condemning state and local governments deciding to use elementary and secondary school facilities to provide temporary shelter for newly-arrived migrants, which many cities and towns sometimes do.
While this resolution (H. Res. 461) was non-binding and thus a waste of time and taxpayer dollars, it also pushed bigoted falsehoods about migrants supposedly posing a threat to communities. The fact is that decades of research has shown that immigrants are less likely than U.S.-born Americans to commit crime. It’s actually anti-immigrant extremists who pose the threats, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
In a second vote last week, Rep. Kiggans also joined every single House Republican in favor of referring two articles of impeachment against President Biden to GOP committees for further probing. The two allegations put forward by lead sponsor Lauren Boebert – abuse of power and dereliction of duty – are completely ridiculous and likely would’ve failed had they actually gone to the floor for a vote on full passage, as Boebert had been pushing.
One glance at the resolution shows it’s instead about advancing the party’s embrace of deadly, white supremacist “invasion” rhetoric. Republicans have continued pushing this rhetoric even as the anti-Semitic mass gunman who targeted the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018 was convicted late last week on more than 60 counts.
Rep. Kiggans must take ownership of this baseless and offensive rhetoric. She cast the votes and joined the crowd, but unlike the vocal extremists snatching up all the headlines, Rep. Kiggans isn’t insulated in a deeply-red district and will have to face an election where extremism will likely be a serious liability. Like America’s Voice Executive Director Vanessa Cárdenas recently said, “all are complicit and dragging us in a dangerous and divisive direction.” Relatedly, House Republicans also voted to censure Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff because of his role in impeaching President Trump.
Sheepishly towing the party line with votes to advance xenophobic extremism and white nationalist conspiracy theories, Rep. Kiggans has a lot of explaining to do.