Kevin McCarthy promises to keep his district’s undocumented farmworkers vulnerable to deportation



“Republican leaders toyed with bipartisan reforms earlier in the 2000s and came close in 2013 with the so-called Gang of Eight plan,” Axios said. But from John Boehner to Paul Ryan, House Republican leadership was never serious about championing any humane legislation legalizing undocumented immigrants.

Recall that back in 2015, Boehner gave white supremacist and former congressman Steve King a vote to deport Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients. When House Democrats and a small group of House Republicans tried to bypass Ryan through a discharge petition in 2018, the “zombie-eyed granny starver” intervened to sabotage it.

McCarthy, who is busy protecting the insurrectionist former president by refusing to voluntarily cooperate with the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attempt to overthrow American democracy, is now promising more of the same should he become speaker. One action we can definitely expect is for that committee to be shut down under a Speaker McCarthy.

“The reality is that 70%, if not 80%, of farmworkers in the United States today and within his district do not have documents,” former United Farm Workers (UFW) president Arturo Rodriguez told VOXXI in 2014. “As a result, this should be the number one priority for him, and it makes no sense to us at all that he has not given us a vote on this issue in the House of Representatives.” 

Immigrant women staged a sit-in at McCarthy’s Bakersfield office the year before, ultimately forcing him to meet with them after they refused to leave. “McCarthy told the women that he is ‘serious about solving the problem,’ but refused to sign a pledge to push for a House vote,” America’s Voice noted at the time. Now, years later, and as the nation faces a labor shortage, McCarthy “is choosing retreat, defeat, and nativism,” America’s Voice’s Doug Rivilin says.

Under Nancy Pelosi’s leadership, Democrats have passed historic pieces of pro-immigrant legislation, including a bill putting undocumented farmworkers on a path to legalization. “Legislators have voted in favor of protecting the people whose hands harvest the fruits and vegetables offered in congressional buildings’ cafeterias and all of American’s kitchen tables,” UFW Foundation executive director Diana Tellefson Torres said in response to the Farm Workforce Modernization Act’s passage. That bill was passed with support from 30 Republicans. McCarthy was not among them. 


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