WASHINGTON – Will Republicans in Congress stand with the majority of their party and country in supporting comprehensive immigration reform, or will they stand with extremists attempting to derail the bipartisan momentum for reform? That’s the choice exposed in a new report  from People For the American Way’s Right Wing Watch.
The report, Congressional Republicans’ Clear Choice on Immigration: Stand With Pro-Reform Majorities or Cave to Anti-Immigrant Extremists , details the strategies that have been used by the Right to block immigration reform and the defining choice Republicans face on immigration now as the national landscape shifts. PFAW Senior Fellow Peter Montgomery, the report’s author, documents the anti-immigration vitriol of far-right pundits and elected officials such as Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, and Senator Ted Cruz. Recent comments from the GOP’s far-right fringe – such as Rep. Steve King’s characterization  of most young undocumented immigrants as drug runners with “calves the size of cantaloupes” from “hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert” – suggest that this fringe is not relenting as the national debate continues.
“There is new bipartisan momentum for immigration reform, and some Republicans are working to reposition the party in the minds of Latino voters,” the report notes. “But in order to make that possible, Republican officials will have to demonstrate that they are willing to face down the divisive extremists that many of them once cheered on.”
The full report is available at www.pfaw.org .
Peter Montgomery, Senior Fellow at People For the American Way, oversees the organization’s research and writing on the Religious Right. He is available for comment on this report.