Earlier this morning, a group of House Republicans held a news conference to voice opposition to the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S.744) currently being considered in the Senate. The conference was led by Rep. Steve King (R-IA). Joining King in opposition to S.744 were Reps. Louie Gohmert and Steve Stockman of Texas, John Fleming (R-LA), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), and Mo Brooks (R-AL). Steve King also started the conference revealing that Reps. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Lou Barletta (R-PA) regrettably could not attend, but lend their support.
The press event represents the latest attempt by several members of the stridently anti-immigrant House Immigration Reform Caucus (HIRC) to introduce their nativist rhetoric and extremist positions into the current immigration discussion. Last month, several HIRC members held an invitation-only press event where they echoed talking points drafted by anti-immigrant organizations such as the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and NumbersUSA.
Today’s conference focused primarily on border security and “rule of law” rhetoric that the anti-immigrant Congressmen often hide behind – and use to shield themselves from accusations of bigotry. Rep. King did, however, start the conference off by referencing a new Heritage Report that has been widely discredited by both the left and right for flawed methodology and co-author Jason Richwine’s history and connections to racist pseudo-science and “race realists” such as Jared Taylor.
Amid Louie Gohmert’s warnings that the country may be “overwhelmed by people that want to destroy us” and provisions in S.744 will make America “disintegrate into chaos,” conference leader Steve King best illustrated the anti-immigrant coalition’s nativist platform when he spoke of immigrants’ need to embrace what he calls “the cultural continuity” of the United States.