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When most of us think about Alabama and immigration, we think about Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, Rep. Mo Brooks, State Senator Scott Beason and, of course, the viciously anti-immigrant law, HB 56, which Beason authored. But over the past several weeks, a very powerful pro-immigrant voice from Alabama has made himself heard: Rep. Spencer Bachus.
After yesterday’s GOP House caucus meeting on immigration, many in the media were focused on the ugly things that Congressmen like Brooks and Steve King had to say. Many of them missed the unabashed support for citizenship offered by Bachus. But Sarah Murray and at Kristina Peterson at The Wall Street Journal covered it:
At least a small handful of Republicans said they still supported allowing illegal immigrants already in the U.S. to become citizens.
“I support a pathway to citizenship because I don’t believe we should have a second class of citizens,” said Rep. Spencer Bachus (R., Ala.). Everyone living in the United States should feel invested in the country, he said. Denying that would create “an underclass and I don’t believe that’s what America is all about.”
That is what America is all about.
If Bachus, who is from the same Alabama as Jeff Sessions, can show such support for immigration, how come we’re not hearing the same thing from other Republicans? Is that too much to ask of House GOPers who live in congressional districts with large Latino populations like Jeff Denham (CA-10, 40% Latino), David Valadao (CA-21, 71%), Kevin McCarthy (CA-23, the House Majority Whip, 36%), Rep. Darrell Issa (CA-49, 26%), Mike Coffman (CO-6, 20%), Joe Heck (NV-3, 16%), Doc Hastings (WA-08, 36%), Mike Grimm (NY-11, 16%), Blake Farenthold (TX-27, 50%) and Peter King (NY-2, 21%), among others?