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Republican Leaders Will Still Vote for Donald Trump Despite His Cozy Relationship with the KKK

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With Donald Trump firmly in the GOP front-runner seat, some Republican candidates and elected officials are criticizing his cozy relationship with white nationalists, while admitting that they will nonetheless back him if he is the eventual nominee.  Republicans like Paul Ryan may not want to admit that they have become the Party of Trump, but that’s plain enough for all to see.  As Jennifer Steinhauer writes in The New York Times,

“Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Tuesday forcefully denounced Donald J. Trump’s refusal to distance himself from the former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. But Mr. Ryan did not shift from his position that he would support Mr. Trump if he became the Republican Party’s presidential nominee, a perplexing contradiction that reflects the growing anxiety on Capitol Hill over the billionaire businessman’s ascent.” (Steinhauer also includes a good rundown of a number of other Republicans’ similarly contradictory stances).

Speaker Ryan called on fellow Republicans to “reject any group or cause that is built on bigotry. This party does not prey on people’s prejudices. We appeal to their highest ideals.” Yet Ryan is simultaneously open to backing a candidate pledging to deport every single undocumented immigrant and their American-born children within two years; is presiding over a Party that refuses to advance a policy alternative to Trump’s mass-deportation vision for the undocumented; and is pledging that the House will pursue a legal brief to challenge temporary protections for a portion of the undocumented population.

Republican Governors and Attorneys General from 26 states have signed onto the U.S. v Texas lawsuit and every Republican presidential candidate has pledged to block and overturn any executive actions left in place when they assume the presidency. As the Supreme Court prepares to hear the case, evidence continues to grow that upholding the policies is not just the right thing to do for millions of families with American children, but also will have huge economic benefits. According to a recent report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, undocumented immigrants’ tax contributions would increase significantly under the administration’s executive actions. So Republican leaders’ actions are not only harmful to immigrant families that have lived and worked in their states for years, but also demonstrate that they would rather deny millions of dollars in new tax revenue to their states in pursuit of yes, an anti-immigrant agenda.

According to Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director of America’s Voice,  “It should be simple: if you oppose Donald Trump’s attempts to mainstream noxious and nativist ideas, you should refuse to back him as the eventual GOP nominee. And if you are legitimately worried about Trump’s vision of America, you should refuse to go along with Trump-allied policies that would cause demonstrable harm to the very populations targeted by Trump.”