Republicans want to create second-class citizens. You're not DREAMing.
Republicans haven't abandoned extreme positions on immigration. They've just transferred controversial proposals to the state level.
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Remarkably, Hutchison remains far from the most restrictionist Republican in Congress. In fact, DREAM supporters targeted her with protests and hunger strikes in 2010 because she had previously supported the bill; they genuinely thought they could convince her. And Hutchison’s recommendation for revising the DREAM Act is not an anomaly, but instead similar to – or even less radical than – ideas floated by various Republicans since DREAM’s December defeat.Skip to next paragraph
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GOP has changed tactics, but not views
Upon assuming control of the House of Representatives, Republicans have gotten wise to the tide of public opinion against some of their most extreme voices on immigration. But they haven’t abandoned their stance on immigration; they’ve just changed their tactics.
For instance, to remove an easy target for Democrats, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R) of Ohio withheld the chairmanship of the House Immigration sub-committee from ranking Republican Steve King of Iowa, an outspoken restrictionist.
On the House floor in 2006, Rep. King constructed a model wall he proposed putting along the southern border, with an electrified wire at the top “to provide a disincentive for people to climb over the top.” He concluded, “We do this with livestock all the time” – a comment that has been interpreted as his likening undocumented immigrants to cattle. And more recently, in 2010, King said law enforcement officers could profile undocumented immigrants by “the type of grooming that they might have,” among other “common sense indicators.”
By preventing King from becoming sub-committee chair, Republicans have also tabled his plan to put the proposed repeal of "birthright citizenship" in the national spotlight. Instead, House Judiciary Committee chairman Lamar Smith (R) of Texas – whose immigration policy positions, if not his rhetoric, appear quite similar to King’s – has chosen to focus on workplace enforcement.
Shifting immigration battle to the states
On the most extreme proposals, however, Republicans have merely shifted the battleground to the state and local arenas, as we’ve seen in Arizona. While the House has not yet taken up the proposed repeal of birthright citizenship, Republican lawmakers from 14 states – led by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach – have vowed to withhold citizenship from babies born to undocumented parents.