With friends like these, it’s clear where Republican candidates’ interests lie.
Over the last several years, the Republican Party, from leadership on down, has been radicalized. Catering to an extreme and vocal voting base, Republican elites have been increasingly willing to associate with racists or their ideas. While on the campaign trail, they have preferred divisive political stunts and inflammatory language over real solutions.
Republicans Kevin McCarthy and Elise Stefanik who are vying for leadership positions in Congress are intent on derailing any common-sense solutions to fix our immigration system. They support and empower other Republicans who hang out with white nationalists, spread dangerous racist conspiracy theories, and denigrate immigrant communities.
Several other elected Republicans hang out with white nationalists, echoing domestic terrorists, and promoting racist lies, these Republican members of congress’s actions threaten the safety and prosperity of our communities.
Brian Babin (TX-36)
This Texas Congressman from a district that runs from the west of Houston to the border of Louisiana is a vocal promoter of the white nationalist conspiracy theory that there is a plot afoot to replace white people with non-white immigrants. Last September, Brain Babin went on television to falsely claim democrats’ had a “grand strategy” where they wanted “to replace the American electorate with third-world immigrants that are coming in illegally, many of them COVID positive.” Babin has since persistently amplified the racist language about a “great replacement” and migrant “invasion.” These are the same racist lies that inspired the mass murderers who attacked El Paso in 2019 and Buffalo in May.
Matt Gaetz (FL-01)
This Florida Congressman represents part of the Florida Panhandle around Pensacola and Destin and is close friends with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. Matt Gaetz faces allegations of underage sex trafficking and has courted offensive controversy as part of his political brand. Gaetz has frequently associated with the racist street gang the Proud Boys. He has proudly endorsed the white nationalist “ replacement theory”— the same racist lie that inspired the mass murderers who attacked El Paso in 2019 and Buffalo in May Gaetz has defended the violent insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, and has been a vocal promoter of lies trying to undermine the legitimacy of the last election.
Paul Gosar (AZ-04)
Representing a sparsely populated area in the northwest corner of Arizona, Paul Gosar has a long history of associating with bigots and violent white nationalists. Gosar was reportedly a key figure in planning the events that ended with the violent insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. He has repeatedly spoken at white nationalist, far-right militia, and other hate group events. He was censured by Congress for posting a video that alluded to the assassination of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Gosar is also a vocal proponent of the lies trying to undermine the legitimacy of the last election. Regularly employing the deadly rhetoric around a non-white migrant “invasion,” Gosar is all but a public white nationalist.
Kevin McCarthy (CA-23)
Currently, the House Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, hopes to be the Speaker of the House — the top position in the congressional chamber. McCarthy has said he will block any attempt to provide pathways to citizenship for Dreamers or farmworkers. He has also promised to end the investigation into the violent insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. McCarthy has also promised to empower his Republican friends who publicly attended white nationalist events and threatened political violence. McCarthy is more worried about pleasing Donald Trump and his extremist friends than addressing working families’ challenges, like lowering healthcare costs or raising the minimum wage.
Michael McCaul (TX-10)
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) is the former Chair of the House Homeland Security Committee. A longtime impediment to immigration reform, McCaul has recently embraced the dangerous invasion rhetoric on national tv. During a Fox News Sunday in April, McCaul stated, “Putin invaded Ukraine … We have an invasion in my home state right on the border, every day.” As a Texan, McCaul show know about the deadly consequences of that ‘invasion’ language. In 2019, a gunman killed 23 people at a Walmart in El Paso after posting an anti-immigrant manifesto, which stated the attack was a response to ‘the Hispanic invasion of Texas.’”
Elise Stefanik (NY-21)
Currently, the third-ranking House Republican, Elise Stefanik, won her leadership position because she went along with the election lies that the election was stolen from Trump and refused to condemn the violent insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. Stefanik has also used her campaign to promote the white supremacist conspiracy theory that immigrants are trying to replace white people and overthrow our democracy. She has echoed the deadly lie about an “invasion” of non-white migrants at the border. Even after the racist mass murderer who attacked customers at a Buffalo grocery store echoed those very same lies, Stefanik doubled down on the dangerous language. Stefanik’s lies about the election and an invasion are dangerous and distract from the fact that she wants to deny citizenship, block all refugees, and waste billions on a wall preferring to fear-monger about immigrants for her own selfish politics rather than work towards real solutions.
Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA-14)
If there is a bigoted conspiracy theory out there, Marjorie Taylor Greene has probably used her massive platform to amplify it. The Congresswoman from North Georgia isn’t just some harmless kook. The conspiracy theories Greene promotes have a real-world body count. She has spoken at white supremacist events and has repeatedly made bigoted remarks. Greene defended the violent insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, and has been a vocal promoter of lies trying to undermine the legitimacy of the last election. She has frequently echoed the deadly lie about an “invasion” of non-white migrants at the border. Though new to Congress, Greene has a prominent voice inside the party and will likely use any additional power she obtains from being in the Majority to stymie any and all efforts to address the real challenges working families face.
Donald Trump (No Office)
It is hard to overstate the role Trump has played in demonizing immigrants and radicalizing the GOP. In June of 2015, Donald Trump launched his first campaign for President by attacking immigrants, stating that Mexico was “sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” Trump continued his assault throughout his first campaign, the entirety of his presidency, and his second campaign. It continues in his post-presidency. He evoked the worst stereotypes about immigrants and refugees, while invoking the dangerous “invasion” rhetoric used by white nationalists. Unfortunately, Trump’s party has followed him in lockstep. Xenophobia and racism have come to define the GOP in Trump’s image.