Photo: Boeher-Cantor-Ryan on Immigration
This week to a chorus of boos House Republicans voted 224-201 to approve an amendment, authored by Rep. Steve King (R-IA), that defunds the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The amendment undermines Homeland Security’s ability to defer deporting undocumented immigrant youth.
Only six Republicans voted against the measure that seeks to end Obama’s two-year moratorium on deportations while immigration reform is being debated.
The pro-deportation vote included leading house Republicans: Speaker John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan - Congress’ own princes’ of political perversion. All they were missing with this vote was the pitchforks.
Reaction was swift and angry.
The House Hispanic Caucus tweeted, “House Republicans just voted to treat DREAMers and undocumented spouses of service members in the same way as violent criminals.” The White House reaction: “This amendment, sponsored by Representative Steve King, runs contrary to our most deeply-held values as Americans. It asks law enforcement to treat these Dreamers the same way as they would violent criminals. It’s wrong. It’s not who we are. And it will not become law.” And from the undocumented youth that will be most negatively affected by this: “The DREAM Action Coalition condemns Republican leadership, particularly Speaker Boehner and Rep. Paul Ryan, former Vice President Republican nominee, for approving and voting for Representative King (R-Iowa)‘s amendment to deport DREAMers. Today’s vote to pass Rep. King’s amendment shows the Republican party ever more moving to the extreme right and allowing obstruction to be their official policy.”
King is often discounted by his own party as politically and psychologically unsophisticated - an alarmist who on a good day would be called a casual racist. The man who sees nefarious plots everywhere - death by drones; ‘Big Brother’ eavesdropping on everyone.
Oh wait he’s right for once but who cares he’s still a spook kook.
So it is not shocking that King proposed this bill, it is that it passed with so much Republican support. Passed while House Republicans claim to be working on their own comprehensive immigration reform bill and while funding and promoting Hispanic outreach initiatives.
It’s like Republicans are talking out of their mouth and ass at the same time with different messages coming out of both ends. Incredibly while the vote was occurring Boehner published an Op-Ed in Spanish in ‘La Opinion’ titled “Protecting the American Dream,” trying to sell Latinos on Republicans fiscal prudence. I immediately took the Op-Ed and used it to pick up dog shit in my yard putting it to better use then it was intended for.
It passed while a new $10 million GOP marketing effort launched in Spanish-language media to help Republicans communicate “effectively with the Hispanic community.”
Guess what the message Latinos are getting from Republicans: “We f**ken hate you and disrespect you even more.”
For the GOP it just doesn’t make sense if they are genuinely seeking to engage with Latinos. It’s a damaging and pointless gesture since it won’t pass the Senate or garner Obama’s signature.
Latino Decisions released a new national poll this week that found overwhelmingly Latino voters are following the immigration reform debate in Congress and that actions taken on the immigration bill directly influence how Latinos evaluate both political parties.
So why do it? Why do it when Latinos overwhelming support immigration reform and strongly oppose deportation especially of immigrant youth?
Simply put they are the party of extremists, the party that is impeccably misinformed about demographic and political realities. This is the party that buried the moderate voice long ago with no hopes of resuscitating it.
Nonetheless, I give them credit for showing their true colors with this vote. I was starting to miss the white right that works with fright; I knew a hoax couldn’t hide forever not even behind a $10 million marketing campaign.