As you may recall, the reelection of President Obama last year with more than 70 percent of the Hispanic vote threw some Republicans into a tizzy.
Fox News’s GOP mouthpiece Sean Hannity said he had “evolved” on the issue of immigration reform, and now supported a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Others, like House Speaker John Boehner, expressed a new-found desire to work with President Obama on the issue.
A report issued by the Republican National Committee in March noted:
If Hispanic Americans perceive that a GOP nominee or candidate does not want them in the United States (i.e. self-deportation), they will not pay attention to our next sentence. It does not matter what we say about education, jobs or the economy; if Hispanics think we do not want them here, they will close their ears to our policies.
Among the steps Republicans take in the Hispanic community and beyond, we must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform. If we do not, our Party’s appeal will continue to shrink to its core constituencies only…. Hispanic voters tell us our Party’s position on immigration has become a litmus test, measuring whether we are meeting them with a welcome mat or a closed door.
It seems the message hasn’t got through to Republican members of Congress. Or if it has, they are willing to ignore it as long as they can protect their own asses at reelection time.
To a chorus of boos from the gallery, House Republicans voted 224-201 on Thursday to approve an amendment that defunds the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The amendment, from Rep. Steve King (R-IA), undercuts the flexibility that allows the Department of Homeland Security to halt deporting DREAMers and instead focus on people convicted of crimes.
After the vote, the House Hispanic Caucus tweeted,”House Republicans just voted to treat DREAMers and undocumented spouses of servicemembers in the same way as violent criminals.” Only six Republicans voted against the measure.
The Republicans are trying to prevent the Obama administration from enforcing its decision last year to stop deporting young illegal immigrants brought to the US as children if they haven’t been convicted of crimes.
As Garance Franke-Ruta writes:
This is how the Republican Party can cancel out any progress against Democrats it is making with the Summer of Scandal and guarantee itself a loss in 2016 and a smaller advantage in 2014 than it might otherwise have had.