Mark Krikorian, Executive Director of the anti-immigrant Center for Immigration Studies and the intellectual author of the GOP’s “self-deportation” policy, again made it clear last week that he’s out to kill immigration reform—and he’s attacking everyone who supports it.
Krikorian recently made headlines for encouraging Republicans to give up on immigration reform altogether because Latinos (who, in his opinion, “have a majority of the children that are born to them are illegitimate” and “very high rates of welfare use”) would just largely vote Democratic. Now, we learn that in a Tea Party Unity conference call last Thursday, Krikorian railed against “all the big institutions in the country” including “Big Business…Big Labor, all the big donors, Big Government Big Education, Big Media, Big Philanthropy, Big Religion” who support immigration reform. As he said, “the Southern Baptist Convention has been roped into this as well.” In other words, he’s mad at everyone, including religious leaders.
It’s interesting that Krikorian believes he’s up against some pantheon of elites, considering that what the pro-immigration reform movement is trying to do is bring 11 million of the most politically powerless people—immigrants who don’t have papers, who are often too afraid of seeking police or court services, who cannot vote–out of the shadows. Yes, Krikorian might find it annoying that everyone from conservative elected officials, faith leaders, civil rights groups, business and labor interests, tech companies, law enforcement officials, state and local leaders is joining the movement for immigration reform—but that’s because 83% of all Americans back reform with a path to citizenship. Krikorian is finding it lonely to be on the other side, and he’s taking it out on a coalition of the majority.
View more of Krikorian’s comments below. He also encouraged Republicans to ignore any parts of the bill they might like, because the Senate Gang of 8 bill is (in his opinion) such a monstrosity that it must be killed:
All the big institutions in the country are behind this. Big Business is for this, Big Labor, all the big donors, Big Government, Big Education, Big Media, Big Philanthropy, Big Religion — the Southern Baptist Convention has been roped into this as well. And once the bill came out, though, it became pretty clear that there’s plenty there to attack. The inevitability is not real. This in fact can be stopped, and in fact I think the approach needs to be not to sort of be distracted by particular pieces of the bill, but the whole thing needs to be killed. This needs to be a kind of kill-and-replace, like the fight on Obamacare response. Because this really is an equivalent to Obamacare and frankly probably much more consequential in the long term, much more damaging to the health of the country.
There may be parts of it that some people like, increasing some skilled immigration or guest worker programs, what have you. I’m not a big fan of either of those things, but if they’re included in this bill it doesn’t matter because there’s so much in this bill that shouldn’t be there that’s so bad that the whole thing needs to be killed.
Krikorian also launched personal attacks on Gang of 8 Senators Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio. Graham, he said, is facing attack ads in South Carolina “both because he’s on the Gang of Eight and because he’s frankly kind of a jerk.” And Krikorian—who once said that the reason “Haiti’s so screwed up” is “because it wasn’t colonized long enough”—went out of his way to call Marco Rubio “Chuck Schumer’s water boy.” That one speaks for itself.
Keep in mind that just two weeks ago, Krikorian was called as a witness at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing by Senators Chuck Grassley and Jeff Sessions. Those two wanted his voice heard. Well, Krikorian’s anti-immigrant voice is being heard and it’s defining the opposition to immigration reform as extreme, nasty and completely out-of-touch.