Vanessa Cárdenas: “When all else fails and their internal chaos exposes an inability to govern,” Republicans “default to blaming immigrants.”
Washington, DC – It is increasingly clear that Republicans cannot agree with each other on how to keep the U.S. government open for the American people, but as they flail around for a route forward, they are demonstrating once again that their default political strategy is to bash immigrants and immigration. In an effort to deflect blame for a government shutdown, many Republicans are proposing enacting their hardline immigration vision as part of a stopgap legislative package. It’s part of a larger and ongoing relentless GOP focus on immigration and the border that is more about political positioning than real attempts at solutions. Both on the candidate debate stage and in the halls of Congress, Republicans are most comfortable when advancing extreme anti-immigrant politics and nativism.
The following is a statement from Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
“Shutting the government hurts our national security, hurts our military and hurts our economy. Yet once again, the GOP cannot get out of the grip of their own extremism. And when all else fails and their internal chaos exposes an inability to govern, they default to blaming immigrants.
Placating MAGA extremists by enacting cruel, unworkable, and extreme anti-immigrant policies is not going to keep the government open and would only make actually managing immigration worse. From the candidate debate stage and from the halls of Congress, Republicans regularly spew disinformation, hate and no solutions on immigration. Further, they continue advancing failed and cruel proposals to end asylum, detain immigrant families, restart Trump’s failed ‘Remain in Mexico’ program and endorse more of Donald Trump’s $15 billion border wall, which was a boondoggle rife with corruption and a wall that’s been cut through hundreds of times with a $15 hand saw. The MAGA-fied GOP prefers wasteful, corrupt, symbolic, and ugly political symbolism to real solutions or governing.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration and Democrats are hard at work implementing new programs and efforts to manage our current challenges. In the absence of a legislative modernization that Republicans refuse to work on, the Biden administration has made new TPS redesignation announcements for Venezuela, Afghanistan, Sudan and South Sudan to help stabilize families and communities; announced new work permit processing improvements to get people working; forged new orderly and safe pathways to ports of entry via humanitarian parole programs that are reducing unauthorized entries between ports of entry for certain groups of immigrants; and proposed increases in refugee admissions from the hemisphere, regional processing centers to provide an alternative to a trek to the border and additional money for cities who are receiving immigrants and asylum seekers. Each is demonstrating a new way forward and providing real contrasts with Republicans who are not interested in solutions or the hard work of government, only in fear mongering and demagoguery.”
The bottom line is that we agree with the Chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and Congressional Black Caucus who noted in a joint statement of opposition to adopting extreme House Republican demands:
“It is not appropriate to establish new immigration and border policy in a bill to keep the government funded. House Republicans cannot move their extreme, cruel, unworkable anti-immigrant agenda through the regular legislative process, so they’re trying to make an end-run around Congress and hold the American people hostage to force it into law. Even Minority Leader Senator McConnell has said, ‘Shutting down the government isn’t an effective way to make a point.’ We couldn’t agree more.’”
- See here for immigration policy expert Aaron Reichlin-Melnick of the American Immigration Council’s assessment on the latest immigration provisions being proposed by House Republicans.
- AV Press Release (9/18/23): “Cruel, Unworkable and Extreme” – Assessing House Republicans’ Proposed Immigration and Border Package
- AV Memo (9/18/23): Five Key Immigration and Border Dynamics to Know