Right Wing Watch has a video of Stephen Steinlight, senior policy analyst at the Center for Immigration Studies, giving a speech to a Texas Tea Party group, and it isn’t pretty:
Steinlight posited that the Gang of Eight’s immigration proposal “amounts to a plot against America,” warning that it if it were to pass, “America will become California and the GOP will wither and die.” Republicans who support the bill, he said, “are psychotic, so greedy as to be politically blind, or just stupid.”
He went on to warn that if comprehensive immigration reform passes, “we will lose our liberty and become a one-party state” and the nation will “be balkanized along ethnic and cultural lines and lose its cohesion,” bringing about “the erosion of the middle class and the emergence of a vast, restive permanent underclass” [a theory straight of the Heritage Foundation’s infamously biased immigration study]. He added that for good measure, “We will watch the Constitution become a dead letter, as the rule of law is overthrown.”
But Steinlight saved his greatest contempt for the many religious leaders who support immigration reform, saying, “God help me, find a baseball bat, there would be a whole lot fewer of them around.”
Wow. Today, Obama met with the Pope and talked about immigration — but Steinlight wants to take a baseball bat to the Pope and other religious leaders who support reform. For a guy who once served as the Vice President of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, that’s not very ‘love your fellow man’ of him.
Unfortunately, Steinlight and the organization he works for isn’t without influence. CIS is the faux “think tank” at the heart of the anti-immigrant opposition. It’s been especially close to Republican leadership in the House Judiciary Committee, with former Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) and current Chairman Robert Goodlatte (R-VA) regularly inviting CIS to testify before the committee. For a time in the last Congressional session, you could show up at any given House Judiciary Committee hearing on immigration and have almost even odds of finding someone from CIS testifying. And CIS staffers are known to work hand in glove with Republican members of Congress.
Do House Republicans really want to affiliate themselves with Steinlight, CIS, and the organization’s other officials? (Don’t even get us started on Mark Krikorian.) It was conservative Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin — prompted by a different outburst from Steinlight — who once warned Republicans to stay away from CIS: “Conservatives who oppose immigration reform would do well to distance themselves from such cranks, lest they be accused of sharing such views. So really the question becomes: Do House Republicans want to run as [Rep. Paul] Ryan Republicans or as CIS Republicans?”