Republicans stay hard right, just like their presumptive nominee; Democrats prepared to stand up for immigrants
Donald Trump’s campaign has been rife with nativism, racism and demagoguery. And many Republicans have sought to rhetorically distance themselves from the nominee of their party. But when it comes to policy, House and Senate Republicans have shown their priorities are just as inflammatory and unacceptable as Donald Trump’s.
Today, Senate Republicans are continuing this pattern with a vote on anti-immigrant measures introduced by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA). Heavy on fear-mongering, the bills echo a failed legislative push from Senator David Vitter (R-LA) last fall and seek to empower anti-immigrant figures such as Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
This latest Republican effort to pass anti-immigrant legislation is yet another reminder that the shared vision uniting the presumptive GOP nominee and the congressional GOP is more than coincidence. The legislative push is backed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who insists Donald Trump “needs to change” and is not yet a “credible” presidential candidate. Nevertheless, he reiterated his support of a Trump presidency, and, by pushing forward the new anti-immigrant bills, McConnell is already advancing Trump’s legislative agenda in the Senate. Instead of the kind of immigration reform favored by a strong majority of the American people, GOP Senators are offering ineffective, harmful, and expensive proposals in order to pander to their nativist base.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “It’s no surprise that Senate Republicans are advancing Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda in the run up to the Republican Nativist Convention. As the nominating contest showed, the GOP is in the thrall of an angry electorate that demonizes “the other.” Instead of standing up for an inclusive America that respects the character and contribution of all who live and work here, regardless of birthplace or background, Senate Republicans seek to scapegoat a vulnerable population in a sorry attempt to score cheap political points. We are optimistic that Senate Democrats will stand up to this fearful and cramped view of America and stand up for an America that aspires to live up to its founding ideals.”