Republicans have been proudly flaunting the severe anti-immigrant law in Alabama as a good thing, because it seems to be having the effect they wanted. The law is literally forcing hardworking immigrant families to pull their children out of schools and flee the state.
The GOP’s immigrant bashing continued yesterday, this time on Capitol Hill during a hearing on the Obama administration’s recent decision to show “prosecutorial discretion” in deportation cases. Immigration rights groups have hailed the decision as a first step in the fight for fair immigration reform.
Fair immigration reform is needed so people like the father of Abraham Almanza won’t be separated from their families.
But Committee chairman Lamar Smith called the new rule “backdoor amnesty,” and said that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s decision to focus only on priority cases is “just a slick way of saying we don’t want to enforce immigration laws.”
Smith’s views, like many of those in the Republican Party on immigration, continue to be shameful. When ICE Director John Morton told the panel that in the fiscal year that just ended, 397,000 undocumented immigrants had been deported, Smith did not seem to get that of that number, 187,000 had no criminal records.
“ICE has shown little interest in actually deporting illegal immigrants who have not yet been convicted of what they call ‘serious’ crimes,” Smith said, according to a published news report.
Smith is basically saying all undocumented immigrants are guilty of criminal activity. And isn’t that what Alabama lawmakers think as well?