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Two Years After RNC Committed To Immigration Reform, House GOP Pursues Mass-Deportation Bill

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Two years ago today, the Republican National Committee published a self-flagellating analysis — commonly dubbed by observers as the “GOP’s Autopsy Report” — in response to Mitt Romney’s 2012 landslide electoral defeat.

Chief among the report’s come-to-Jesus moments was a formal rebuke of Romney’s failed “self-deportation” platform in favor of something a bit more humane: Actually passing comprehensive immigration reform:

“[W]e must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform. If we do not, our Party’s appeal will continue to shrink to its core constituencies only. If Hispanic Americans perceive that a GOP nominee or candidate does not want them in the United States (i.e. self-deportation), they will not pay attention to our next sentence.”

Fast-forward two years later, and Republicans have managed to keep their promise to propose “comprehensive” legislation — but at a devastating cost to immigrants.

Phil Wolgin reports on legislation that the House Judiciary Committee is marking up today that would repeal President Obama’s November 2014 immigration action and contain other harmful provisions that would no less “amount to a strategy for comprehensive mass deportation.” From his piece:

The bill would repeal the president’s November 20 immigration directives, which would give 5 million parents and DREAMers temporary legal protection and work authorization; make illegal presence a crime rather than a civil offense; and overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in Arizona v. United States, which rightfully struck down much of S.B.1070, Arizona’s law that put state and local enforcement of immigration on steroids.

There are all kinds of extreme amendments being offered by the likes of Steve King to make the bill even worse.

The House Judiciary Committee’s current focus on making life as difficult as possible for unauthorized immigrants — including stand-alone bills to make the government’s E-Verify system mandatory for all employers, to make it more difficult for those fleeing violence and persecution to gain asylum, and to strip important protections from child refugees — smacks of the discredited “self-deportation” strategy pursued by states like Arizona, with S.B. 1070, and candidates like Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election.

Today’s House hearing is just one of the six anti-immigrant hearings Republicans have geared up for the week, all seemingly focused on the same exact goal: Feeding the right’s hungry anti-immigrant beast.

During the previous Congress, GOP House leaders refused to bring up any immigration bill for a vote, even when the math was clear passage was assured. Instead, Speaker Boehner let extremists like Iowa’s Steve King dictate the House’s immigration platform, which amounted to nothing more than mass-deportation vote after vote.

Some hoped (perhaps naively) that when Republicans promised “responsible governance” after taking control of both houses of Congress this past election, maybe they’d meant it. Now they only seem ready to put the finishing touches on the next chapter of their autopsy report.

Read Wolgin’s piece in its entirety here, and you can follow him as he live-tweets today’s hearing here.