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La Opinión and Washington Post Editorial Boards Condemn GOP Fear Mongering on Immigration

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For those predicting that the Republican Party can or will adjust its recent hard right course after November 4th – and start appealing to Latino voters in the process – recent events should give them pause.  From its establishment wing to its Tea Party base, the Republican Party is gearing up for a pitched battle over impending executive relief on immigration.  Here is the take of leading Spanish language and English language editorials:

La Opinión, the nation’s largest Spanish language newspaper, editorializes against Republicans’ embrace of anti-immigrant politics and promises that Latino voters will not forget.   

“Two years in politics is an eternity that allows for the most contradictory spins in order to win an election.  What better example than Republicans and immigration.  President Barack Obama’s reelection in 2012 brought the chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, to declare – in a review/autopsy of the race – the importance of the Latino vote for the party, and the major role of immigration in the Republican strategy to attract this voting bloc…

…Today, less than a week before the election, Priebus’ strategy is completely different.  An executive order by Obama on immigration would be ‘unconstitutional, illegal, and we don’t support it…It is wrong.  It is un-American…There is not a molecule in my body that agrees with the President on executive amnesty,’ said Priebus on Monday to a group of Tea Party activists.

If two years ago they worried not to offend Hispanics by showing they care about their priority — identified as immigration by Republicans themselves — now they have no problem using it as a piñata to motivate the conservative base.  Tragically, numerous Republican candidates are also using Priebus’ strategy of making immigration the enemy.

The argument goes that they only oppose Obama’s immigration policy.  But the reality is, they oppose even the most basic measures, such as extending the Deferred Action for DREAMers.  There is a big shared hypocrisy among those who have supported comprehensive reform and now endorse politicians who oppose it.  It’s only words for Priebus, but for many Latinos this is about their life and future.  We hope it will also be about memory, so voters will remember two years from now who benefited from kicking them.”

The Washington Post editorial board blasts 2014 Republican candidates such as Scott Brown for fear mongering about the border.

“During the past 14 years, under presidents Bush and Obama, the United States has sent more than 9,000 additional Border Patrol agents to the Southwest frontier, more than doubling the force there.  It has built more than 600 miles of fencing; installed almost 12,000 underground sensors; and deployed scores of aircraft, drones and boats, to say nothing of an array of other technically advanced surveillance systems that enable agents to see much of what moves along the border with Mexico.  Not coincidentally, in the same 14-year period, the number of undocumented immigrants detained by Border Patrol agents — a reflection of overall illegal crossings from Mexico — has been more than cut in half, from 1.6 million in 2000 to fewer than 500,000 in the fiscal year that ended a few weeks ago, according to recently released figures.

All this appears to have been lost on Republican candidates like New Hampshire Senate hopeful Scott Brown, among others.  Mr. Brown has been trying lately to claw his way into office by scaring the bejesus out of voters, portraying the border as wide open to Ebola, terrorists (read: the Islamic State) — and, oh yes, illegal immigrants, too.  Desperate to conjure up arguments against immigration reform, much of the GOP has long been blind to the buildup and militarization along the border — even though it has been achieved by bipartisan authorizations of cash by Congress.  After all, the standard rationale for opposing legal status for the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants is to insist that the Southwest border first be ‘secured.’

In fact, the border has never been, and never will be, sealed, or even ‘secured’ to the satisfaction of Republicans who use it as an excuse for doing nothing to fix the nation’s broken immigration system…If Mr. Brown were truly interested in further securing the Southwest border, he would support the immigration bill passed last year by the Senate, which devotes even more resources to an already militarized frontier while providing rationality to the nation’s immigration laws. He opposes it, finding it easier to run a campaign based on fear than on facts.”