Hightower Report

GOP doubles down on fear and loathing of Latino immigrants

Gosh, has it been two whole years since Republican leaders vowed to reach out to Latino voters with "a more welcoming, inclusive message" and "positive solutions on immigration"?

Well, time flies when you're having elections, and the GOP outreach was on full display by their candidates this year. The general message was: "Elect me, because I'll lock down the whole Mexican border to protect you good Americans from those illegal hordes of diseased, drug-connected Hispanics and Ebola-carrying Islamic terrorists who're coming across that border to kill you and live on welfare."

Tom Cotton of Arkansas, for example, won a U.S. Senate seat in part by fomenting fear of foreigners. Lying right through his teeth, Cotton warned of a murderous mass invasion by two stereotypical bogeymen: "Groups like the Islamic State collaborate with drug cartels in Mexico," he said excitedly, then delivered his comic punch line: "They could infiltrate our defenseless border and attack us right here in places like Arkansas."

Yeah, Tom, the secret dream of every Middle Eastern jihadist is to conquer Pine Bluff. And this guy is in the U.S. Senate? Lord have mercy.

Bad enough to campaign on such twaddle, but a gaggle of right-wing senators actually hope to enact such anti-immigrant, anti-Latino stuff. The President of the Senate Twaddle Caucus, Ted Cruz, recently explained on Fox News that the November election was a referendum on amnesty, "And the American people overwhelmingly said, 'We don't want amnesty.'"

Actually, they said no such thing. Exit polls show that 57% of voters favor letting undocumented immigrants in the U.S. achieve legal status, rather than being deported. But forget facts – and forget inclusivity – Republican lawmakers have decided that immigrant bashing is good politics.

For more information on Jim Hightower's work – and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown – visit www.jimhightower.com. You can hear his radio commentaries on KOOP Radio, 91.7FM, weekdays at 10:58am and 12:58pm.

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