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Ruben Navarrette: Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) “Creates His Own Reality” on Immigration

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Ruben Navarett and Lamar SmithThis in from Ruben Navarrette last night:

You would think that the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee would have better things to do than respond to every column that mentions him.


Navarrette’s column focuses on Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), one of the most anti-immigrant members of the U.S. House and vocal member of the GOP Mass Deportation Caucus, as the Congressman continues to challenge the columnist (and those who publish him), defending his hard-right position on immigration.

According to the columnist, this is the third time Lamar Smith has responded to one of his columns. And while Navarrette claims to have no problem with Smith defending himself, it seems he might have one – as do we – with Lamar Smith trying to “create his own reality.” From the piece:

In a recent letter, Smith accused the Obama administration of “not enforcing the immigration laws on the books.”

That will come as news to the more than 800,000 people who have been deported since Barack Obama took office, at the rate of about 1,000 per day. Just as it will to the hundreds of thousands of employers who have been pressured by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to fire illegal immigrant workers. With a record like this, it’s absurd for anyone to accuse the administration of going soft on immigration enforcement.

Yet, on that issue, the Texas congressman has mastered absurdity.

As when Smith wrote to editors that illegal immigrants “take jobs from lawful workers.”

Someone should check the expiration date on that carton of milk. How many Americans do you know who complain that it was their life’s dream to pick strawberries, or tar roofs, or clean horse stalls, or do some other hard and dirty job but, darn it, an illegal immigrant got there first?

Or when Smith suggested that “the mass amnesty” of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act only “encouraged” more illegal immigration.

If he spoke to more immigrants, he’d know that there is only one thing that encourages them to leave their family and friends and trek north: jobs. And they come courtesy of the folks that Republicans consider untouchable: employers.

Navarrette continues to list Smith’s argument on various immigration related issues — like framing the DREAM Act as “amnesty for 2 million people” (it isn’t)  or claiming that E-verify works (it doesn’t) — and expertly rips them apart. The article is definitely worth a read-through and a tweet.

We look forward to Lamar Smith’s response.