New America’s Voice blog HERE
Washington, DC – At today’s House Committee on Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Accountability hearing, Republicans continued a disturbing pattern of using their committees to amplify white nationalist conspiracy theories and other pernicious lies and rhetoric to demagogue migrants. Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) both employed the white nationalist “invasion” conspiracy tied to multiple domestic terrorist attacks over the last several years. But Rep. Kelly hit a new low for the Republican Party, describing migrants in the extremely dehumanizing terms of an “infestation.” He said:
“…we don’t know who is coming in or who is going out, but we do know the number of deaths. Those deaths from fentanyl. Those deaths are the ones you look at and say, my god, this is somebody’s son or daughter, this is somebody we would love to have in our community, and because of this infestation, it’s corrupting us, it’s ruining us.”
The deaths in the U.S. from fentanyl are indeed tragic, but are not related to migrants seeking safety through asylum. And as if the term “infestation” were not enough, it happens on the same day that at least 39 people seeking entry to the U.S. died at the detention facility in which they were held in Mexico.
Republicans also continued their troubling pattern of elevating witnesses with deep ties to hate groups and a history of amplifying the great replacement conspiracy theory. A new blog from America’s Voice details two of today’s Republican witnesses, Center for Immigration Studies Fellow Andrew Arthur and Border Patrol union president Brandon Judd.
According to the new blog from America’s Voice:
“Arthur has worked for the hate group CIS since 2017, advocating that the cruelty and chaos of the Trump administration’s immigration agenda did not go far enough. Meanwhile, Judd is the hard-right leader of the Border Patrol union who has repeatedly promoted the white nationalist “invasion” and “replacement” conspiracy, palled around with hate groups, and participated in a political ad that suggested political violence towards top Democrats.”
Judd is no stranger to this particular limelight, having previously appeared at one of the GOP’s previous sham border hearings in February. The addition of Arthur is another effort by House Republicans to double-down on promoting anti-immigrant, dehumanizing rhetoric.
One Democrat on the Subcommittee, Rep. Delia Ramirez (D-IL), brought the receipts and powerfully called out the hate coming from the witnesses and the Republican members:
“For those of you who don’t know, I am an American. I am also a proud daughter of a woman who crossed the southwest border 40 years ago. And I have to tell you that I have been sitting here with my little scorecard of the number of things that I have heard that almost directly say that my mother and asylum seekers are less than human. I have heard a member, a Republican member, talk about immigrants as an ‘infestation’ and another one call it an ‘invasion’”
Watch the video of Rep. Ramirez’s remarks here.
According to Zachary Mueller, Political Director of America’s Voice:
“The dehumanizing rhetoric of ‘infestation’ that we heard from Rep. Kelly is well beyond policy disagreements, it is extremely dangerous for the kind of racist political violence it courts. Meanwhile, the Republicans on the committee are further exacerbating the threat of white nationalist violence by giving men like Judd and Arthur the validation and megaphone of a congressional hearing and using the hearings to again amplify white nationalist conspiracy theories.
This latest hearing is more of the same dangerous political theater that undermines the solutions the American people need while putting our public safety at risk.”