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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 3/17/21

The Main Driver Of Immigrants & Refugees is the Republican Party Itself

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Message Thom Hartmann
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From Hartmann Report

To Get an Honest Immigration System, We Must Reverse Reaganism

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"Biden Faces Growing Political Threat from Border Upheaval" reads the headline in the Washington Pos t. But why?

Republicans are attacking Biden, saying he has "opened" the southern border. That message is getting to people south of the border and they're showing up. They're showing up because the Republicans are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy in order to sabotage Biden. And, as is so often the case, this all started with Reagan (more on that in a moment).

A group of Republican politicians just came back from our southern border and are now trying to create a giant PR event around their claim that President Joe Biden has "opened the border" to refugees and immigrants from the south. To add some salt to the stew of lies, they're even throwing in Sri Lankans (seriously) and "terrorists."

While it's true that two factors have driven a lot of migration over the past few decades (climate change wiping out farmland, and political dysfunction and gangs caused by the Reagan administration devastating the governments of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala) the latest main driver of would-be immigrants and refugees is the Republican Party itself.

Lacking any actual, substantive economic issues to run on, the GOP has decided to fall back on a familiar ploy: scare white people that brown people are coming for them and/or their jobs. Back in the 1950s and 1960s, I remember well how the GOP pitch to white people was that Black people wanted "our" jobs; now it's brown people from south of the border.

Trump did this in the most crude, vulgar and racist way possible from his first entrance into the Republican primary through the end of his presidency. It frightened enough white voters that it got him into office once, and the GOP is hoping they can repeat that trick in 2022 and 2024.

In doing so, they're playing with fire. Their lies about American policies are causing people to put their lives in danger.

The truth is that Joe Biden never "opened" our southern border.

"Open borders" have never been his policy or the Democratic Party's policy or, indeed, the policy of any elected Democrat or Democratic strategist in American history.

Everybody understands and agrees that for a country to function it must regulate immigration, and it's borders must have a reasonable level of integrity.

Republicans are playing a very dangerous game here. By loudly proclaiming their lie that Biden has "opened" the southern border and is "welcoming" immigrants and refugees "with open arms," they are creating the very problem they're pointing to.

Republican lies like this don't stay in the United States.

As they get repeated through our media, even when most Americans realize they're simply wild exaggerations (at the most charitable), the media of other countries are happy to pick up the story and spread it across Mexico and Central America.

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Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle (more...)

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