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While House Leaders Appear Ready to Close a Chapter and Fund DHS, Anti-Immigrant Caucus Opens Another Front Against Immigrants

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Republicans Seem Unable to Move on from Anti-Immigrant Obsession

This week, as the GOP fueled Department of Homeland Security (DHS) debate careens to a close, the House Judiciary Committee is marking up four immigration enforcement-only bills.  After a bruising battle over immigration that brought the nation to the brink of a DHS shut-down, you’d think House Republican leaders would be loath to gin up another debate over immigration.

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “This obsession against immigrants has infected not just House legislation, but spread to the 2016 presidential hopefuls as well. At a time when Americans are clearly calling for a comprehensive resolution to the fate of 11 million undocumented immigrants, the GOP continues down its narrow path of fear and loathing. It is not the American way.”

On the substance, it’s hard to find a category of people NOT negatively affected by the House legislation. In addition to stripping back the President’s signature DAPA/DACA+ programs, the House bills would undercut the travel rights of DACA recipients and harm those who need protection most, including refugees, domestic violence and trafficking victims, children, and military service members with families in deportation proceedings.  One of the bills calls for such rapid implementation of E-Verify that it could cost tens of thousands of legal U.S. workers their jobs (check out this letter from the Conference of Catholic Bishops for more info on the bills’ punitive impacts).

The House bills also offer up the opportunity for yet another intra-cameral, intra-party fight on issues that have no chance of becoming law while President Obama remains in the Oval Office and another chance for GOP 2016 candidates to prove how extreme they can also be.   It’s the fatal trio of bad policy, bad process, and bad politics that will doom the GOP’s chances with Latino voters and further demonstrate their inability to govern effectively.

Add this to the Collins language — which is also budget-crippling — and you get the full picture of the full-scale attack the GOP is waging against immigrants: unrelenting, expensive and obsessed with tearing immigrant families apart.

Added Sharry, “The GOP is waging a full frontal attack against immigrants and their families.  By continuing to take their marching orders from those who say, without irony, that immigrants with longstanding roots in the U.S. are more dangerous than ISIS, Republicans prove once again that they’ll stop at nothing to subject millions of immigrants to deportation and leave millions of U.S. citizen children without their parents.  That doesn’t bode well for a party desperately trying to distance itself from its anti-immigrant and anti-Latino image heading into 2016.”