Wednesday, April 19, 2006

RNC Ad Mischaracterizes Democratic Stance On Immigration

I don't believe Republicans are capable of being honest about anything. The Republican party has become the party of illegitimacy.

Spanish-language ad says Democrats voted to "treat millions of hardworking immigrants as felons."

The RNC mischaracterizes the Democratic stance on immigration legislation in a radio ad running in Arizona and Nevada and aimed at Hispanics. The Spanish-language ad says (as translated) that Democrats "voted to treat millions of hardworking immigrants as felons."

In fact, it was a Republican-sponsored House bill, passed in December with a heavy Republican majority, that would make it a felony either to enter the US without official permission, or to overstay a visa. Under the House bill an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants could face penalties of up to a year and a day in prison.

What the ad refers to is a vote that killed a White House-inspired measure to downgrade the proposed felony to a misdemeanor. Most Democrats opposed the softening amendment, but said they did so because it still would have been too harsh – criminalizing the overstaying of a visa, which is now only a civil offense and not subject to imprisonment.

The Spanish-language ad also says the President and Republican leaders are working for legislation that will "honor our immigrants." Opinions differ on that. An immigration reform project of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops called the Republican-backed House measure "cynical," and said that it will punish immigrants and harm their families.

On the Senate side, the Judiciary Committee cleared a bipartisan immigration bill that doesn't make it a felony to enter illegally or overstay permission. Efforts to pass that measure broke down before the Easter recess, and may resume when the Senate returns April 27.

FULL STORY, ANALYSIS


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