It only took the tragic events in Boston to get Republican leaders to reconsider their positions on immigration, but what they’re selling as movement is little more than an effort to repackage obstinance.
John Boehner told Fox News, “If we fix our immigration system, it may actually help us understand who all is here, why they’re here and what legal status they have.”
“We have a broken immigration system and, if anything, what we see in Boston is that we have to fix and modernize our immigration system for a lot of reasons … National security reasons, economic reasons. For all those reasons we need to fix our broken immigration system,” Paul Ryan said at a church in Illinois.
The changes to their posture, their willingness to discuss the subject, are welcome as immigration reform is desperately needed, but many of the party’s talking heads are using the tragedy to continue railing against progress.
Ann Coulter, the GOP’s hate queen, took to Twitter just days after the incident, with the manhunt of Dzhokhar ongoing, to forward her propaganda: “It’s too bad Suspect # 1 won’t be able to be legalized by Marco Rubio, now.”
Coulter wasn’t alone in her attempt to use the bombings in Boston to shut down discussion of immigration reform. Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham wanted to stop progress altogether claiming “this monstrosity [proposed legislation] needs to be stopped.”
It’s a tired strategy the far right knows well and uses often in the wake of a tragedy. Step one: ignore the victims. Step two: make a scapegoat. Step three: stop progress.
Rand Paul (R-KY) joined the crowd against immigration reform under the guise that more hearings and committees need to be held before action should be taken. The Senator’s sentiments echo the backward conception that foreigners are potential terrorists and before they can be granted entry, must be proven not to be.
In a meeting on Monday, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) commented on the behavior, “Let no one be so cruel as to try to use the heinous acts of two young men last week to derail the dreams and futures of millions of hardworking people.”