Rep. Curbelo: ‘Fringe’ GOPers Obsessed With Making Immigrants Scapegoats

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A GOP sponsor of a bill that would protect undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children said Republicans like Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach are part of a “fringe” group who like to use immigrants as a scapegoat for economic struggles.

Appearing on MSNBC Tuesday just after Kobach gave an interview saying DACA recipients should go back to their home country and “get in line” before coming back to the U.S., Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) called Kobach’s opinions “regrettable.”

“It’s regrettable that some fringe elements in our politics have a sick obsession with scapegoating immigrants, for blaming them for all our economic struggles in this country,” he said, adding if that group wants a “culprit” for “stagnant economic growth,” Kobach and others should look at the country’s tax code and education system.

He also called out Kobach for blaming immigrants for struggles young Americans face when it comes to finding a job after college.

“It’s young Americans who overwhelmingly support the Dreamers’ cause and want to see Congress take action to afford them a permanent solution,” he said. “Why? Because they understand that these young people went to school with them, grew up in this country.”

Curbelo’s remarks came just minutes before Attorney General Jeff Sessions officially announced the DACA program would be “rescinded.” President Donald Trump made it clear early Tuesday that he expects Congress to come up with a legislative solution to the issue.

 Curbelo is one of several members of Congress who have already started crafting legislation to protect undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.

His bill, called Recognizing America’s Children Act, will reflect the idea that the majority of Americans believe dreamers are “de facto” Americans. He said he knows even “the President of the United States does not think that these young people should leave the country.”

He said his bill has bipartisan support and alluded that another Republican from the state of New Jersey had signed on as a co-sponsor for the bill.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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