tags: Press Releases

Key Questions for Rep. Salazar and Other Republicans Trying to Portray a Welcoming Version of the GOP

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Washington, DC – In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Rep. María Elvira Salazar (R-FL) tries to make the case for why the Republican Party should be the natural home for Hispanic voters. During the interview, Rep. Salazar touts her “Dignity Act” immigration bill and goes on several anti-communist and anti-socialist riffs.

Yet the interview raises several important questions that are left unanswered:

  • Will she vote for a Republican leadership slate that opposes her immigration legislation? Last week, House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) reiterated his pledge that “Amnesty is a nonstarter” if Republicans take the House and he becomes Speaker. Meanwhile, the right wing media and anti-immigrant groups that influence most Republicans’ immigration positioning have decried Rep. Salazar’s “Dignity Act” as “amnesty.” So would she vote for a GOP leader opposed to her own bill?
  • Does she condemn or support the “white replacement” and “invasion” comments made by House GOP third-in-command Rep. Elise Stefanik and other GOP colleagues, including Senator Rubio? The Buffalo white supremacist killings underscored the dangers of the “invasion” and “replacement” rhetoric and worldview that many of her colleagues have helped to mainstream. For example, Senator Marco Rubio tweeted this spring about the threat of, “…a full scale illegal immigration invasion of America.” Does Rep. Salazar condemn or endorse these comments and beliefs?
  • How does she reconcile her supposed support for people fleeing from countries such as Cuba with the GOP’s refusal to support expanded asylum and legal channels for immigrants and refugees? The Republican Party’s relentless fear-mongering about the southern border – filled with lies and scary framing – is coupled with opposition to reforms that would make it easier for individuals to access a fair asylum process or legal channels without making the trek to the border. With the number of Cubans now leaving the island and seeking safety in the U.S. greater than the days of the Mariel boatlift, how does Rep. Salazar suggest we welcome Cubans and migrants from other socialist nations, such as Venezuela? And does she disagree with Republican fear mongering over those leaving these countries? For example, in response to an image of migrants from Venezuela, Cuba, and Colombia attempting to cross the border, Cassy Garcia, a former state director for Senator Ted Cruz now running for Congress, tweeted yesterday that, “every American should be outraged that the Biden Admin & House Democrats don’t care to secure our southern border. Why don’t we enforce the laws on the books?”

The following is a statement from Zachary Mueller, Political Director of America’s Voice:

“Republicans like Rep. Salazar cannot have it both ways. On one hand claiming they are welcoming to Hispanic voters and on the other echoing the language of domestic terrorists who murdered dozens to stop an so-called “Hispanic invasion.” Voters deserve straight answers from Rep. Salazar and the other Republicans engaging in this sort of hypocrisy. The stakes are too high and the dangers too great to accept evasive non-answers or pretend that silence is not complicity.”

Read about the America’s Voice bilingual campaign, “Show Me Your Friends,” initially focused on six Republicans running in House battleground districts that run along parts of the U.S./Mexico border. There’s a wise saying in Spanish, “Dime con quién andas y te diré quién eres”  – show me your friends and I’ll show you who you are” – that is the inspiration for the campaign. Republican candidates along the border have refused to distance themselves or denounce Republicans’ dangerous extremism on immigration and the border, including the “invasion” and “white replacement” rhetoric and conspiracy theories. Watch an explainer video about the campaign HERE. Watch individual videos focused on each of the GOP candidates HERE.