The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

The anti-immigrant crew goes off the rails

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Not content to use discredited studies and float bogus arguments, the anti-immigration right wingers in the Senate have now sunk further than even the Gang of Eight imagined.

Let’s take Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) who has manufactured arguments and declares himself opposed to any legalization for anyone. My colleague Glenn Kessler gave him three Pinocchios for inventing an argument that employers could hire previously illegal immigrants to cheapen their Obamacare costs. The allegation is plainly false, in large part because such action is illegal under existing law. But rather than take his lumps, Cruz lashed out on Fox News, proclaiming, “I would be very curious if the columnist who wrote that who works for The Washington Post which has more employees how he would feel about it if they decided to fire him and hire someone who was here illegally because it was $5,000 more expensive to hire U.S. citizen to write that column.”  Again, this is false and his outburst demonstrates how intemperate and unprofessional he has become.

Speaking of which, his chief of staff, Chip Roy, has taken to Twitter, presumably with his boss’s consent, to vilify fellow Republicans with obnoxious comments accusing them of bad faith and misleading the public. He went so far as to retweet a comment that Republican senators supporting the enhanced border security amendment are “selling out America.” As one Republican staffer put it, “He is saying things that his boss doesn’t have the guts to say in public or directly to his colleagues. I must be old school, but this sort of behavior crosses the line and is unprofessional.” But typical.

Cruz apparently fancies himself as a right-wing radio talk show host. If that’s what he really wants to be, he might consider giving up his present job, which requires a higher standard of conduct than he has been able to demonstrate.

Then there is the matter of permitting further amendments. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has agreed to consider some, but hard-line opponents of the bill — whose own amendments have already been voted down — insist on more than 30 votes, in essence yet another stab at filibustering. Reid should put an end to such nonsense. Here is how: He can ask for unanimous consent on each amendment as it comes up (e.g. Sen. Rob Portman’s E-verify proposal) and force Cruz and his allies to object. It would show their hypocrisy in calling for an open amendment process, yet blocking amendments that improve the bill and garner votes.

Really, enough is enough with this gang.