Leadership in Lockstep with Steve King and Anti-Immigrant Agenda
The so-called divide between establishment Republicans and the anti-immigrant wing of the party sure isn’t visible early in the 114th Congress. Instead, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) and others in House Republican leadership are picking up where they left off last Congress by allowing the anti-immigrant wing to drive the Party’s immigration agenda. This week, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives is advancing a collection of the harshest anti-immigrant legislation in years, seeking not only to overturn the sensible executive actions from last November, but also to end the DACA program for DREAMers and maximize the deportation of all 11 million undocumented immigrants settled in America.
As Speaker Boehner said in regards to the impending anti-immigrant push, “I said we would fight it [executive action] tooth and nail when we had the majority and I meant it…we cannot continue to allow the president to go around the Congress, to go around the law and take unilateral action.”
Now, after Boehner and the rest of House leadership developed their opening salvo on immigration in the new Congress, they’re earning praise from some of the most extreme members of the House GOP:
- Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ), “This is as close to 100 percent as we’ve ever gotten on a tough issue like this.”
- Rep. Steve King (R-IA), “There’s been good, good constructive dialogue on putting a bill together, and I think a lot of us—myself included—are in general agreement…I’m hopeful.”
- Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL), “The American people were expecting the leadership to step up to the plate and not just make some kind of symbolic gesture in trying to address what the president did back in November, but try to go a step further. That’s what our language does, and what at the end of the day will garner a lot of support from our colleagues.”
- Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), after a Republican closed-door meeting on the legislative way forward, “I liked what I heard…I really appreciate the process of allowing all of us to have some input. One of the things that has really been lacking for the last eight years is having more input like we’ve finally gotten in this bill, so this is a good thing.”
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
There’s no daylight anymore between House Republicans on immigration reform. Fresh out of the gates in the new Congress, House Republican leaders are advancing legislation straight from the top of Steve King’s anti-immigrant wish list. The GOP is abdicating any attempts to fix immigration policy and is instead re-stating its intention to maximize deportations for all. So much for a ‘Republican divide’ on immigration, so much for the Republican attempt to expand its base, and so much for responsible governance.