So Much for Responsible Governance: GOP Kicks Off New Congress with Attacks on Immigrants Next Week GOP Moves to Do Away With Fixes to Our Broken Immigration System

That didn’t take long. With all the happy talk inside the beltway regarding bipartisan legislative progress, one of the top priorities of the Republican leadership is to take action on legislation that would maximize deportations of immigrants, remove protections from long-settled immigrants with American children and move almost inevitably towards a partial government shutdown in March.

As Politico reports today:

“Speaker John Boehner and the House Republicans are planning to try to choke off President Barack Obama’s immigration executive action next week, according to multiple GOP leadership aides involved in the talks.

“House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) plans to bring up a bill next week to fund the Department of Homeland Security, and embedded in the text will likely be language to limit funding for carrying out Obama’s executive action…”

Meanwhile, Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) is set to introduce separate legislation that amounts to a collection of anti-immigrant policies favored by the House’s hardliners. We’ll have to wait and see whether the two approaches – one from leadership, one from the restive right wing – are different or not. We suspect not. Which would speak volumes about how far the GOP has lurched right on immigration, even as the party heads into a potentially punishing 2016 electoral map.

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “Two years ago, Republicans were lining up to announce their support for comprehensive immigration reform. Now the GOP is gearing up to deny upwards of 5 million immigrants a chance to come forward, pass background checks, work legally and comply fully with their tax obligations. In the last Congress, the GOP blocked immigration reform that would have fixed our dysfunctional immigration system once and for all. In this Congress, they seem intent on making a broken immigration system even worse, maximizing deportations of immigrants who are American in all but paperwork and cementing their anti-Latino, anti-immigrant brand. So much for responsible governance.”

Added Sharry, “From a policy and political perspective, the heart of immigration reform remains the question of ‘what to do with 11 million undocumented immigrants in America?’ In the last Congress, the Senate approved a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill that combined enforcement, legal immigration reforms and a path to permanent legal status and citizenship. In this Congress, the GOP is talking about everything but how to deal humanely and practically with the 11 million undocumented immigrants. In fact, their position seems to be that this nation of immigrants should deport as many immigrants as possible. It’s horrible policy. It’s terrible politics. Welcome to the new GOP, more anti-immigrant than the old GOP.”

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