While Tom Tancredo Wing of GOP Vows to Impeach Obama Over Immigration, Gov. Christie Shows Another Way Forward
Washington, DC – As anti-immigrant ringleaders whip themselves into a frenzy over illegal immigration, and continue a strategy that is both bad for the Republican Party and bad for the country, some reasonable Republicans suggest another way.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “On immigration issues, the Tancredo wing of the Republican Party is driving the party’s agenda on immigration these days. Not only does this imperil the GOP’s long-term viability in many states due to simple demographics, but it also represents the triumph of nativism – unpersuaded by facts and reality – over pragmatism, reason, and problem-solving. The Republican Party has a choice – would it rather rail against illegal immigration while stonewalling action on actual solutions, or roll up its sleeves to–gasp–work with Democrats to address the problem with comprehensive reform?”
The latest anti-immigrant meme states that President Obama should be impeached due to his “failure” to enforce immigration laws. Never mind the actual facts on immigration enforcement – as a Washington Post piece highlighted today, the Obama Administration “expects to deport about 400,000 people this fiscal year, nearly 10 percent above the Bush administration’s 2008 total and 25 percent more than were deported in 2007,” and the “pace of company audits has roughly quadrupled since President George W. Bush’s final year in office.” Yet, in an op-ed in the Washington Times last week, Tom Tancredo, who is about to announce his candidacy for Governor of Colorado, stated that President Obama constitutes “a more serious threat to America than al Qaeda” and called for Obama’s impeachment, asserting that his actions on immigration amount to a failure of his oath of office, “which includes the duty to defend the United States against foreign invasion.” Similarly, commenting on Obama’s immigration record, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) said on Lou Dobbs’s radio show: “Whatever law they’re not enforcing, I think it comes awfully close to a violation of their oath of office.”
Despite the Party’s drift toward extremism on immigration, some Republicans such as Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) are fighting an uphill battle to promote bipartisan problem-solving. On ABC’s This Week, Gov. Christie called for comprehensive immigration reform and a federal solution to the broken system, saying, “The president and the Congress have to step up to the plate, they have to secure our borders, and they have to put forward a commonsense path to citizenship for people… States are going to struggle all over the country with this problem [until President Obama and Congress craft an immigration reform measure], and so is federal law enforcement, who doesn’t have the resources to do it effectively.” Similarly, Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) summarized the politics of immigration nicely when he said, “Republicans see a short-term benefit because of the popularity of the Arizona law. But then, a lot of Republicans realize, long term, this is not a winner for the party to take a position that is so distant from the largest-growing demographic. Some are willing to sacrifice the short term for the long term.”
America’s Voice — Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform.