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The Motivations Behind Two House Anti-Immigrant Hearings Reveal The GOP’s Commitment to Disinformation

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Washington, DC Yesterday on Capitol Hill, House Republicans staged two hearings that continued their relentless focus on immigration lies, conspiracies, and bigotry. Below are quotes and context from America’s Voice on yesterday’s hearings on Chinese migration and the made-up problem of non-citizen voting.

The Dangerous Rhetoric and Scare Tactics Regarding Chinese Migration

This surge in Chinese border crossing has been villainized by GOP officials, with former president Donald Trump painting it as a coordinated group of “military-age” men who seek to “build a little army in our country.” House Republicans again stoked fear relying on dangerous “invasion” conspiracy language in another official congressional hearing.  

Democrats on the committee gave an astute and accurate description, “Another Republican Border ‘Hearing’ with Invasion Rhetoric and Fearmongering.” Determined to prove Democrats correct, Rep. Dale Strong (R-AL) said, “The United States is being invaded, and I think that’s the right word.” 

Rep. Strong’s invocation of the deadly white nationalist “invasion” rhetoric came after Rep. Delia Ramirez (D-IL) opened her remarks expressing her disappointment that the committee “allows special witnesses from an organization that’s been designated as a hate group for publishing the works of white nationalist.” Ramirez also highlighting a trove of the tweets of the Republican’s witness using the white nationalist “invasion” rhetoric showing how the witness in question,  Todd Bensman of the Center for Immigration Studies, designated a hate group by SPLC, was “uplifting the same invasion rhetoric central to the white nationalist and antisemitic great replacement conspiracy theory.”

According to Zachary Mueller, Sr. Director of Research for America’s Voice: 

“The rhetoric coming from the Republican Party at all levels has disturbing parallels to the deadly violence and anti-Asian racism of the 19th century. The same sort of anti-Chinese conspiratorial bigotry that animated the Chinese Exclusion Act 150 years ago is now again echoing in the halls of Congress. This rhetoric is not about managing migration flows or keeping the American people safe. It’s just an attempt to score political points with coded racist fearmongering. It’s hard to miss the galling nature of these attacks from Republicans as we celebrate AAPI Heritage Month – a reminder that despite the ugly racist rhetoric and exclusionary laws, Asian Americans have always been a critical part of the fabric of the nation.”        

The Larger Motivations Behind the Made-up Problem of Non-Citizen Voting

Also yesterday, House Republicans held a committee hearing and are readying legislation to tackle the made-up problem of non-citizens voting in federal elections. As America’s Voice highlighted earlier this week, the fear of non-citizens voting and other anti-immigrant conspiracies are part of a larger strategy that lays the groundwork for stoking fear among the MAGA base, opening the door to voting restrictions for eligible voters, delegitimizing the democratic process and amplifying the idea that immigrants are being lured to the United States by nefarious elites to undermine the country. All of it is used to justify real world political violence, from the steps of the Capitol to American communities like Buffalo, which two years ago this week witnessed a horrific mass murder tied to anti-immigration conspiracy theories. 

Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice, said:

“Republicans are once again creating a solution where no problem exists. Right-wing lies about non-citizen voting and the related mainstreaming of ‘replacement’ and ‘invasion’ conspiracies are all connected to Trump and allies’ anti-democratic push and attempts to delegitimize our election outcomes and justify January 6th and related new threats of political violence. The fact-checking and debunking of the lie that non-citizen voting is a major issue is an important first step, but we need to also call out the game and understand the larger context and GOP motivations at play.”

Also read a new column from America’s Voice Maribel Hastings, which has run in series of the highest circulation Spanish language newspapers and websites (La Opinión, El Diario, Radio Bilingüe),The GOP and the false problem of voting by non-citizens Available in English HERE and Spanish HERE.