The Washington Post

Immigration advocates list ‘Gang of Hate’

A Senate committee is scheduled to begin debating amendments on a comprehensive immigration reform bill this week and already the rhetoric around the hot-button issue is heating up.

A coalition of liberal advocates was out with a statement Monday calling opponents to the proposal the “Gang of Hate,” a play off the nickname of the “Gang of Eight” bipartisan group of senators that developed the legislation.

(David J. Phillip/AP) Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) (David J. Phillip/AP)

America’s Voice, a leading immigration advocacy group, listed Republican Sens. Jeff Sessions (Ala.), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), John Cornyn (Tex.), Ted Cruz (Tex.), and David Vitter (La.) in the group of haters, saying they have embraced an anti-immigration strategy that “drove the GOP to the brink of the demographic cliff and put them in the position they are in today.”

But the characterization drew immediate umbrage from one of the GOP senators that America’s Voice is counting on to see the immigration fight through Congress. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) wrote on his Twitter account that the attack on the senators is a “disgrace.”

“I disgree with them on parts of #immigrationreform but they are not haters,” wrote Rubio, a member of the bipartisan group that developed the bill.

Rubio is in a tricky position as a tea-party favorite who has championed the immigration proposal. Pro-immigration advocates hope he can sell the details, including a 13-year path to citizenship for up to 11 million illegal immigrants, to the GOP’s conservative wing.

Conservatives opposed to immigration reform have cited security concerns, as well as the potential costs of allowing illegal immigrants to pursue citizenship. The Heritage Foundation released a study Monday that estimates the Senate proposal would ultimately cost $6.3 trillion in health care and social services  for the millions of immigrants who become citizens. Such estimates have been disputed by other organizations that cite fees and increased taxes paid by undocumented workers who earn legal status.

Rubio has called for additional hearings and more time to amend the bill, saying he welcomes ideas from fellow Republicans on ways to improve it. He has said the border security components likely will need to be strengthened for the legislation to have a change to pass the Senate and House.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has set a deadline of Tuesday for amendments to be filed, and the “markup” process of the bill will begin Thursday.

David Nakamura covers the White House. He has previously covered sports, education and city government and reported from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Japan.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Comments
Show Comments
The New Hampshire primary is Tuesday. Get caught up on the race.
The feminist appeal may not be working for Clinton
In New Hampshire, Sen. Bernie Sanders is beating Clinton among women by eight percentage points, according to a new CNN-WMUR survey. This represents a big shift from the results last week in the Iowa caucuses, where Clinton won women by 11 points.
The Post's Dan Balz says ...
This was supposed to be the strongest Republican presidential field in memory, but cracks are showing. At Saturday night's debate, Marco Rubio withered in the face of unyielding attacks from Chris Christie, drawing attention to the biggest question about his candidacy: Is he ready to be president? How much the debate will affect Rubio's standing Tuesday is anybody's guess. But even if he does well, the question about his readiness to serve as president and to go up against Clinton, if she is the Democratic nominee, will linger.
Listen
Play Video
New Hampshire polling averages
Donald Trump holds a commanding lead in the next state to vote, but Marco Rubio has recently seen a jump in his support, according to polls.
New Hampshire polling averages
A victory in New Hampshire revitalized Hillary Clinton's demoralized campaign in 2008. But this time, she's trailing Bernie Sanders, from neighboring Vermont. She left the state Sunday to go to Flint, Mich., where a cost-saving decision led to poisonous levels of lead in the water of the poor, heavily black, rust-belt city. 
55% 40%
Listen
Play Video
Upcoming debates
Feb. 11: Democratic debate

on PBS, in Wisconsin

Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

Campaign 2016
State of the race

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.