tags: Press Releases

House GOP Set to Go Five-for-Five in Platforming Dangerous White Nationalist Conspiracies and Lies at Border-Focused Hearings

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Dana Milbank: “It’s time for House Republicans to stop smuggling backpacks full of white-nationalist propaganda into their hearings.”

Washington, DC – Tomorrow’s scheduled House Homeland Security Committee hearing will mark the fifth House GOP committee border-related hearing in five weeks, not even including Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s photo op presser at the border earlier in February. 

Just like the earlier hearings, including last week’s House Judiciary field hearing in Yuma (read our take here), expect tomorrow’s hearing to advance lies about Biden’s “open-borders” and efforts to blame asylum seekers for fentanyl. And just like the earlier hearings, we expect tomorrow’s hearing to give extremists a platform to promote their dangerous nativist views and white nationalist conspiracies. 

According to Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

“Another week, another House GOP anti-immigrant hearing that advances false political attack lines and dangerous white nationalist conspiracies. Tomorrow’s hearing will make it five-for-five. Instead of focusing on solutions, the House GOP is amplifying hateful rhetoric and giving extremists a platform to promote their dangerous nativist views.” 

Of note:

  • House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Mark Green has amplified the white nationalist “invasion” conspiracy theory, as have most of the Republican members on the committee (see our backgrounder research on GOP House Homeland Security committee members here). As AV has highlighted, the “invasion” and “replacement” conspiracies have been linked to numerous acts of violence.
  • Among the scheduled Republican witnesses at Tuesday’s hearing are Sheriff Mark Lamb of Pinal County, AZ. Lamb has promoted conspiracy theories linked to domestic terrorism, supported election denialism, is a key figure around the disturbing “Constitutional Sheriff” movement and was featured in the infamous ad from failed Arizona GOP candidate Jim Lamon, which depicted shooting at President Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and Mark Kelly. 

Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank highlighted the dangers and lies of Republicans’ relentless anti-immigrant focus in his most recent column, which included the following excerpts:

“Smuggling white supremacy into another border hearing…House Republicans just can’t quit these white nationalists. 

On Feb. 15, the gunman who killed 10 Black people in a racist massacre at a Buffalo supermarket last May was sentenced to life in prison. The killer had subscribed to the racist “great replacement theory” that White people are being deliberately sidelined and endangered.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee marked this solemn occasion in a most unusual way. On the same day the killer was sentenced, the panel held a border field hearing in Texas and hosted as one of its witnesses a proponent of the very same great replacement theory. 

The witness, National Border Patrol Council union President Brandon Judd, alleged on Fox News last year that the Biden administration had opened the southern border (itself a falsehood) because “they’re trying to change the demographics of the electorate” to “stay in power.” That’s the great replacement theory in a nutshell. 

…Judd did not disappoint, alleging that “Biden’s open-border policies” have “made the securing of our border impossible.” And he testified that “we are constantly seizing backpacks filled with fentanyl” from migrants illegally crossing the border.

In reality, the vast majority of fentanyl is imported at legal ports of entry, often by U.S. citizens, and smugglers’ chances of getting caught are much higher if they cross illegally. But it’s so much scarier to conjure images of Brown people smuggling opioid-laden backpacks.

…It’s time for House Republicans to stop smuggling backpacks full of white-nationalist propaganda into their hearings.”