A slap to immigrants

The bill that the House of Representatives passed to address the arrival of minors at the border is a slap in the face to the immigrant community and Latinos.

It is unfortunate that, after so many months of legislative paralysis with deliberately vague messages on immigration, the Republican majority got behind a bill that is embarrassing, both because of its sheer ignorance and its bad intentions.

How else to explain reacting to a humanitarian crisis by focusing mainly on security? Maybe Texas Gov. Rick Perry can understand it. Yesterday in CNN, he mixed up terrorists from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Syria with these minors, to then say that 90% of undocumented immigrants crossing the border are responsible for thousands of rapes and murders in Texas.

The House’s bill is also detrimental for the Dreamers—as if they had something to do with what is happening at the border—and speeds up deportations. Since that did not seem like enough, lawmakers also voted on a preventive bill to prohibit the expansion of Deferred Action and the granting of work visas, in case President Obama wants to issue executive orders on these.

The original idea of House Speaker John Boehner was to have a modest response to the border crisis. Again, pressure from the most recalcitrant lawmakers destroyed any idea of moderation, and once again they got their way. The likelihood of the bill moving forward is virtually zero; therefore, above all it is a declaration of principles.

We are concerned that extremists have taken control of the Republican immigration agenda. We are saddened that moderates have not staged an internal rebellion against these extremists, like it has happened time and again against their leadership when there have been disagreements.

These bills are awful for the immigrant community, for what they do and what they are intended to do. Extremist actions and realities are drowning out reasonable words. The Republican Party has diverse opinions when it comes to immigration. Unfortunately, sanity has been thrown out the window and the ones left in charge are lawmakers like Steve King, Ted Cruz, Michelle Bachmann and Jeff Sessions.

Tacitly accepting the leadership of hatred and ignorance of these individuals on the immigration issue is a huge mistake, because it tarnishes both the righteous and the sinners, projecting a collective image of disdain for the undocumented. Actions like these make the stereotype of the anti-immigrant Republican a reality, and the GOP will pay the price for it later on at the polls.