Lest there be any doubt about what most House Republicans really think about immigration reform, take a look at this: Republican Diane Black, a member of Tennessee’s delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives, late last year introduced a bill seeking to defund any type of community outreach or public advocate position within Immigration & Customs Enforcement. Black alleges that the office is an “illegal alien lobbyist,” despite the fact that the office deals with inquiries from U.S. citizens, lawful immigrants, and unlawful immigrants alike. The office was created as a central public contact point to inform ICE of such things as the mistaken detention of U.S. citizens, of serious medical conditions of detainees, and of child custody issues–often of U.S. citizen children–of detainees. Black, however, views the office as a classic example of government waste.
Apparently so do her fellow Republicans. Today, the Republican-controlled House Judiciary Committee approved the bill, sending it to the House floor for a full vote. This is the same committee that is supposed to be leading the way on House Republicans’ so-called “common-sense piece-by-piece immigration reform.” Don’t hold your breath.
And for those who would argue that U.S. citizens would never have a need for a public advocate in immigration enforcement, this lawsuit shows why you are terribly mistaken.