Today, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives passed an amendment by Rep. Steve King (R-IA) that attacks DREAMers, young people who have grown up in America and are American in all but paperwork. The amendment to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations bill would restrict DHS from using any discretion in immigration enforcement, which would have the effect of undoing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and placing all DREAMers (even those who have received DACA approval) at risk of deportation.
The following is a statement from America’s Voice Executive Director Frank Sharry:
The 2012 elections made it clear that the Republican Party has a political imperative to improve its competitiveness with Latino voters if it is to survive as a national party. As Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) said immediately following the 2012 elections, the key to rehabilitating the GOP brand with Latinos is immigration: ‘This issue has been around far too long…A comprehensive approach is long overdue, and I’m confident that the president, myself and others can find the common ground to take care of this issue once and for all.’
However, today’s House vote shows that the anti-immigrant extremists like Rep. Steve King (R-IA) are still the tail wagging the Republican dog. While the House’s action today is a message bill that will never become law, it’s exactly the wrong message to send. Instead of sending a message of ‘welcome,’ it puts the Republican Party on record, once again, as being anti-immigrant and anti-Latino.
If the Republican Party is going to modernize, leaders like Speaker Boehner will have to stand up to the Steve Kings of the world and work to pass real immigration reform with a path to citizenship. The choice before Boehner and other supposed modernizers is clear: lead the Party in a fundamentally different immigration policy direction change and improve the Party’s electoral competitiveness in the process, or, let the GOP continue to be defined by the extremists.”