Washington, DC – The House Judiciary Committee will hold another anti-immigrant hearing on Wednesday, at which we expect Republicans to again discuss a sham impeachment of DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Below are five key points to know in advance:
- Part of a Pre-Baked Political Attack at Odds with Post-Title 42 Realities
- Republicans’ Real Preference is for “Operational Chaos” not “Operational Control”
- GOP and Right Wing Media are Trumpeting “Open Borders” Disinformation – Not the Biden Administration
- Scapegoating and Spreading Fear By Falsely Linking Fentanyl Crisis to Immigration
- Republicans on Judiciary Committee and Beyond Continue to Platform Dangerous White Nationalism
Point 1: Part of a Pre-Baked Political Attack at Odds with Post-Title 42 Realities
- As America’s Voice has been detailing, Republicans had clearly planned, and hoped, for a more chaotic post-Title 42 environment at the border. Yet contrary to their apocalyptic predictions, the number of migrants crossing the border has hit its lowest point since Biden took office due to a number of factors.
- Yet Republicans and right wing media haven’t changed their pre-baked plans one bit and are instead proceeding as if their predictions of post-Title 42 chaos had come true. The House Judiciary and Homeland Security hearing and sham impeachment chatter are prime examples.
- It continues a false political line of attack that GOP and right wing leaders started even before President Biden was in office, when they blamed Biden’s immigration policies for a rise in border encounters occurring during the Trump presidency.
- As Greg Sargent of the Washington Post writes in his newest column, “The spectacle of [Rep. Marjorie Taylor] Greene leading an impeachment of Mayorkas — in part over a border surge that hasn’t happened — will perfectly underscore the ludicrousness of this never-ending clown show.”
Point 2: Republicans’ Real Preference is for “Operational Chaos” not “Operational Control”
- Expect to hear lots about Secretary Mayorkas’ comments on “operational control” of the border (taken out of context). Judging by the definition of “operational control” used by the GOP Members who cited “The Secure Fence Act of 2006,” no DHS Secretary ever, including anyone serving in that post under Trump, would have met that standard.
- Even the Berlin Wall would have failed to meet that standard. It’s a goal that can never be met – by design and is not a sensible or beneficial way of gauging how best to maintain an orderly border (see here for more).
- The reality is that Republicans aren’t really interested in solutions at the border. As always with “operational control” or “border security first” excuses, they are coded ways to say “legalization or immigration reform never.” Their justification, as always, is supposed “border chaos” that GOP obstruction of a wholesale immigration modernization helps cement and that is independent of on-the-ground realities.
- Republicans prefer “operational chaos” rather than partnering on real solutions because it helps keep their MAGA base inflamed and stokes divides and fears they think benefits them politically.
Point 3: GOP and Right Wing Media are Trumpeting “Open Borders” Disinformation – Not the Biden Administration
- Fox News and the GOP are the leading purveyors of false “open borders” disinformation – spending the equivalent of millions to amplify the false “open borders” message. For example, Fox News mentioned “open borders” 3,282 times from November 1, 2020, through March 16, 2023. For more, read an America’s Voice memo on the details and implications: HERE and read the accompanying exclusive in Vanity Fair HERE
- This disinformation is being amplified and manipulated by bad actors and smugglers preying on migrants and asylum seekers and poisons the well and makes it harder to achieve solutions we need.
Point 4: Scapegoating and Spreading Fear By Falsely Linking Fentanyl Crisis to Immigration
- Republicans’ attempts to scapegoat migrants and blame immigration for the fentanyl crisis isn’t backed by the facts. Fentanyl comes in through ports of entry and doesn’t involve unauthorized migrants: 90% of all drugs are brought in through ports of entry (POE) in commercial vehicles and passenger cars, not in the backpacks of migrants. Meanwhile, fentanyl trafficking is largely done by U.S. citizens, not migrants. Read more from America’s Voice, Debunking the GOP’s Fentanyl Narrative – A Short Resource Guide
- Serious policies to address the fentanyl crisis involve international trade, cooperation with Mexico, public health and treatment measures, law enforcement, as well as interdiction and screening at the ports of entry – not falsely scapegoating migrants and asylum seekers or using the fentanyl crisis as a pretext to call for anti-immigrant policies.
- From the DHS “Operation Blue Lotus,” relying on new scanning machines and drug detection tools, to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which included $430 million to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for the construction and modernization of land ports of entry and screening technology – and which most Republicans voted against – there are real solutions that address the real challenges of fentanyl and don’t scapegoat migrants and stoke fear over immigration.
Point 5: Republicans on Judiciary Committee and Beyond Continue to Platform Dangerous White Nationalism
- The ongoing trial of the Tree of Life shooter in Pittsburgh, just weeks after the one year anniversary of the Buffalo mass-killings, are two of the latest reminders about the dangers of mainstreaming racist hate – both shooters cited the false, white nationalist “Great Replacement Theory” in their screeds.
- Despite these real-world reminders about the dangers of racist lies, America’s Voice has found more than 550 examples of elected Republicans and GOP campaigns that employed the theory in the year since the Buffalo shooting, as well as some two dozen examples from House GOP congressional hearings this year. Most of the members on the House Judiciary Committee consistently amplify this deadly racist conspiracy theory.
- All this at a time when domestic terrorism, including by white nationalists motivated by anti-immigrant animus, is listed as the greatest terrorist threat to our nation