This afternoon House Republicans will vote on legislation drafted by Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) aimed at preventing executive action on immigration. If enacted into law, the measure would place nearly all 11 million undocumented immigrants in America at risk of deportation.
The following is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, in response to the impending vote on Rep. Yoho’s “Preventing Executive Overreach on Immigration Act of 2014.”
Today is a historic day, and a sad day. With this vote on this bill today, the Republican Party cements its reputation as the party of mass deportation. Instead of allowing a vote on a comprehensive approach to immigration reform that would modernize our dysfunctional immigration system, enhance orderliness and put 11 million immigrant on a path to permanent residence, House Republicans are making it clear their policy alternative is to subject as many undocumented immigrants as possible to deportation.
The veil has been pulled back to reveal the Republican Party’s stark views on how we should deal with the 11 million undocumented immigrants settled in America. No longer can the GOP hide behind the cover of process arguments, or behind excuses such as ‘step by step; and ‘first we secure the border.’ As Frank Wilkinson of Bloomberg recently pointed out in this compelling piece, the policy options are clear: ‘1. You can offer them a path to legalization and/or citizenship. 2. You can deport them. 3. You can maintain the status quo, in which the undocumented remain in the U.S. without legal rights or recognition (and perhaps ‘self deport’ in accord with the wishes of Mitt Romney).’ Unable to get a clear answer on which alternative Republicans support, even from hardliners such as Senator Sessions (R-AL), Wilkinson concludes, ‘The anti-immigrant forces have been on a two-year hot streak, sinking immigration reform in Congress and successfully exploiting opportunities, such as the spring and summer wave of Central American children at the border, to increase public fears and resistance to legalization. They enjoyed great success in the midterm elections. They have all the marks of a potent, durable political force. They’re just too embarrassed to say out loud what exactly they’re a force for.’
Well, today they are saying out loud what they are for and what they are against. They are for deporting those who are undocumented, full stop. They are against legislation and executive actions that keep the undocumented from being ripped away from their families, homes, jobs and the country they call home.