Washington, DC – Republicans have spent the early days of the new Congress relentlessly focused on anti-immigrant themes, related political attacks and platforming dangerous white nationalist conspiracies – a trend set to continue in coming days.
On Thursday, Kevin McCarthy will lead a GOP delegation to the border for more political photo ops, following a joint field hearing in Texas later today from subcommittees under the House Energy and Commerce Committee – bringing the total to three different House GOP committees already convening around their favorite issue of drumming up animosity towards immigrants and fears about the border. As with other GOP hearings and as emphasized by their star witness – National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd – today’s joint hearing will likely be rife with white nationalist talking points like the “great replacement” theory, the alleged “invasion” taking place at the border and pernicious disinformation about fentanyl, while being light on any real attempts at solutions.
According to Zachary Mueller, Political Director of America’s Voice:
“Brandon Judd’s scheduled appearance at today’s GOP field hearing in Texas again demonstrates Republicans’ relentless and disturbing focus on anti-immigrant political attacks, lies, and embrace of dangerous white nationalist messengers and conspiracy theories that have inspired multiple domestic terrorist attacks in recent years. From Senator J.D. Vance blaming immigrants for housing market challenges in an unrelated Senate banking hearing to now three different House GOP committees competing for attention on aggressive, anti-immigrant lies and dangerous conspiracies, it’s a reminder that Republicans are hellbent on defining themselves by their anti-immigrant extremism – despite the proven dangers and Americans broad rejection of MAGA extremists in the 2022 midterms.”
Below are three key points and additional background about Brandon Judd and how his invitation underscores the dangers and politicization of the Republicans’ relentless anti-immigrant focus (see more at this new America’s Voice backgrounder on Judd here).
National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd is scheduled to testify today in Weslaco, Texas before a combined field hearing of the House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee and the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Below are the three things you need to know about Brandon Judd:
- Judd promotes the deadly white nationalist “invasion” and “replacement” conspiracy theories. A powerful USA Today profile by Will Carless titled “‘Replacement theory’ fuels extremists and shooters. Now a top Border Patrol agent is spreading it” detailed how Judd used an April 2022, Fox News appearance to promote the baseless conspiracy theory that there is a plot to replace white Americans with immigrants. Judd has also repeatedly pushed the racist fiction that migrants seeking asylum and safety at the border constitute a literal “invasion” of the U.S. The “invasion” and “replacement” conspiracy Judd pedals has inspired multiple domestic terrorists to take the lives of dozens over the last few years from Charlottesville in 2017, to Pittsburgh in 2018 to Poway in 2019, to El Paso in 2019, to the Capitol in 2021, and in Buffalo in May of 2022. Judd’s role and mainstreaming of this white nationalist conspiracy echoes the similar rhetoric of Rep. Paul Gosar and other House Republicans who have mainstreamed these dangerous conspiracies in recent weeks.
- Judd appeared in dozens of Republican ads in the ‘22 midterms, including one that pretended to shoot President Biden, then-Speaker Pelosi, and Senator Kelly. Judd and his union cut ads for and endorsed several Republican candidates who campaigned on the white nationalist “invasion” and “replacement” conspiracy. But in one egregious example, Judd guest starred in a Jim Lamon Arizona Republican Senate primary western shootout-style ad in February ‘22, where the candidate shoots at actors portraying President Biden, then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and Senator Mark Kelly. As a reminder, Sen. Kelly’s wife was shot in a horrific act of political violence in 2011, and Speaker Pelosi’s husband was also horrifically attacked in his home later in 2022 as a domestic terrorist sought out the then-Speaker.
- Judd regularly engages with Southern Poverty Law Center-designated hate groups. In September 2022, Judd joined dozens of elected Republican officials and right-wing talk radio shows for an annual event organized by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). A Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) designated hate group, FAIR was founded by eugenicist and white nationalist John Tanton. Earlier in the year, Judd was a featured speaker at a FAIR conference in Las Vegas. In December 2021, Judd also sat for an interview with the Center for Immigration Studies’ (CIS) podcast – another SPLC-designated hate group founded by Tanton.
Additional Background and Resources
- Why is Kevin McCarthy Treating Paul Gosar’s Use of White Nationalist Rhetoric Different from Steve King’s?
- As El Paso Shooter Pleads Guilty, Reminders Why GOP Embrace of “Invasion” and “Replacement” Conspiracies is So Dangerous
- Debunking the GOP’s Fentanyl Narrative – A Short Resource Guide
- GOP Threatens Public Safety with Push for DHS Secretary Impeachment Based on White Nationalist Conspiracy Theories