Washington, DC – It’s a busy day for Republicans’ relentless focus on anti-immigrant attacks and conspiracies. Starting with this morning’s House Oversight Committee hearing and continuing with the Republican responses to tonight’s State of the Union address, expect falsehoods, lies, and political attacks on immigration and the border to be a big focus of the GOP.
Below, find related resources – starting with this morning’s Oversight hearing and continuing to include relevant backgrounders about Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R-AR) and Rep. Juan Ciscomani (R-AZ) to prepare for their GOP responses to the State of the Union.
House GOP Oversight Committee Hearing on Border/Immigration to Feature Ugly Political Attacks and White Nationalist Conspiracies
- This morning, GOP members of the House Oversight Committee tried to outdo their House Judiciary Committee counterparts in defining themselves by dangerous, anti-immigrant extremism and preference for political theater instead of real solutions. Ahead of the hearing, America’s Voice released new analysis: “When Republican House Oversight Committee Members Amplified White Nationalist Conspiracy Theories,” summarizing AV’s ongoing research and detailing specific examples of Oversight Committee members amplifying the deadly white nationalist ‘invasion’ and ‘replacement’ conspiracy theories.
- Also read “How Upcoming House GOP Hearings Will Mainstream Dangerous Conspiracies,” an op-ed from AV Executive Director Vanessa Cárdenas (in English and Spanish); the America’s Voice blog: “Debunking the GOP’s Fentanyl Narrative;” and the America’s Voice memo: “Four Points to Keep in Mind as Republicans Tee Up Anti-Immigrant Hearings and Attacks”
Key Immigration Reminders: Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders to Give Official Republican SOTU Response Address
There is no shortage of footage and examples of Gov. Huckabee Sanders defending the cruelty, chaos, and failures of the Trump administration’s immigration record. Of particular infamy, she:
- Defended Trump’s family separation by citing the Bible: Recall her claim “It’s very Biblical to enforce the law,” and the entire exchange linked to in this June 2018 coverage. And remember that nearly 1,000 children remain separated from their parents due to Trump’s family separation policies – one of the darkest chapters of recent American presidencies.
- Called a judge’s ruling in 2018 that kept the DACA program operating: “good news for smuggling organizations” but “horrible news for our national security.” She also defended Trump’s attempts to end DACA and accused Democrats of politicizing Dreamers’ plight.
- Defended Trump’s rhetoric about a co-called migrant “caravan” and “invasion” in the wake of the horrific anti-Semitic attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue.
As Arkansas’ Governor:
- One of her first acts was banning the term “Latinx” in all government documents and departments, and tweeting: “In Arkansas, we will not tolerate indoctrination or (critical race theory), we reject ‘Latinx’, and we will not aid in China’s data harvesting or exploitation.” Clearly, she is more interested in culture war issues to divide and distract voters than in helping the people of Arkansas. As America’s Voice Executive Director Vanessa Cárdenas told the Arkansas Traveler, “The Latino community in Arkansas, and across the country, care about improving their economy, access to healthcare, and better education for their children and that is what Governor Huckabee should be focused on.”
Key Immigration Reminders: House GOP Representative Juan Ciscomani (R-AZ) to Give Republican SOTU Spanish Language Response
Rep. Ciscomani, a freshman member from Arizona, will give the Spanish language version of the GOP SOTU response. While we expect him to be more measured in his immigration tone than some of his other Republican colleagues, Rep. Ciscomani has refused to fully distance himself or denounce his colleagues who are advancing dangerous white nationalism:
- In an interview published in the New York Times, then-candidate Ciscomani refused to denounce or disagree with the “invasion” comments and white nationalist sympathies of other Arizona Republicans Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar, saying instead, “Their races and their messaging is geared toward their constituency.”
- At a rally to support Arizona Republican candidates in October, Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene was invited to Mesa, Arizona and employed an explicit version of the white nationalist “Great Replacement Theory.” Ciscomani said nothing about the deadly conspiracy theory espoused at the rally.