For Immediate Release: Thursday, July 25, 2013
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Republicans Must Reverse Course on King-Championed Anti-immigrant Legislation, Keep Families Together
WASHINGTON – As Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) continues to spread racist myths and fears about immigrant families, Republican leaders must go beyond symbolic gestures such as the recent slap on the wrist and roll back their own support of King’s hateful legislation.
“Rep. Steve King continues his racist anti-immigrant GOP press tour, shamelessly spreading hurtful and untrue stereotypes about our nation’s immigrant families in open defiance of Speaker John Boehner and Rep. Eric Cantor’s reprimand,” said Kica Matos, spokeswoman for the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), the nation’s largest immigrant-rights coalition. “But Boehner and Cantor have been quiet champions for Steve King’s mission to embed anti-immigrant policies in the U.S. House of Representatives – they have pushed King’s agenda and sought to make his divisive, hate-filled initiatives the law of the land.
“In just one example, under John Boehner’s leadership, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill that would lead to mass deportation of thousands of bright young immigrants who consider the U.S. their home. Support for policies like these are not generated in a vacuum – they are propelled by the hateful speech that Steve King has elevated, which Boehner and Cantor claim to condemn.
“The problem: It is the height of hypocrisy for Boehner and Cantor to rebuke racist language on one hand, while voting for divisive measures that would rip families apart on the other.
“These outdated and antiquated measures are exactly why the GOP is in danger of extinction and well on the path to political irrelevance. But Republicans have an opportunity to undo this type of hateful legacy simply by doing their jobs and listening to constituents. Across the country and even in Steve King’s own district, poll after poll shows that Americans want immigration legislation that keeps families together and has a clear path to citizenship.
“After Latinos came out in droves in 2012 to punish anti-immigrant speech, Republicans vowed a ‘rebrand.’ But as the GOP should know, there is no rebrand for racist policies. Boehner and Cantor must roll them back and support legislation that keeps families together.”