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House GOP: No to a Vote on Common Sense Immigration Reform This Year, Yes to a Vote on an Anti-Immigrant Bill Next Week

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Well, it’s (semi) official.  At the markup of Rep. Diane Black’s (R-TN) anti-immigrant bill yesterday, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Bob Goodlatte indicated that the legislation will be moving to the House floor next week.

Per an assessment by Donna Cassata of the Associated Press:

The first immigration bill in the House this year would prohibit any money for the public advocate for immigrants in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  After hours of contentious debate, Republicans pushed through a bill in the Judiciary Committee on Wednesday night that would bar the homeland security secretary from using taxpayer dollars for the ICE position. The 17-14 vote along party lines came after the panel rejected a series of Democratic amendments.

News that an immigration bill is moving forward in the House stands in direct contradiction to Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) recent claim that his Chamber is unlikely to address immigration before the midterm elections this year.  House Republicans are, apparently, pushing immigration measures forward – but they’re not measures to reform our immigration system and provide a pathway to citizenship for aspiring Americans. Instead, they’re considering a bill aimed at eliminating the one position at ICE whose function is to reach out to the immigrant community rather than slapping them in chains, and who is responsible for preventing immigrant sexual assaults, deaths, and abuses.  Not only are they trying to eliminate this position, the legislative language would prevent any similar job from being created.  Outreach to immigrants and protection from sexual abuse?  Apparently, Republicans are against it.

Said Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

Yup, it’s June 2013 all over again – the time when Speaker Boehner gave notorious, anti-immigrant Rep. Steve King (R-IA) a House floor vote on his amendment to deport DREAMers.  Since the 2012 elections, Republicans have blown a lot of smoke about how their party needs to get right with Latino voters and pass immigration reform — and led the immigrant community to hope that legislation would happen – then repeatedly jabbed their thumbs in our eyes.  That should go over real well in 2016, when the GOP will be desperate to curry favor with Latino, Asian Pacific American and immigrant voters.  Communicating to these voters through your actions and inaction that ‘we don’t like your kind’ is hardly a winning electoral strategy.

Nail, meet demographic coffin.