Democratic Congressman: GOP Running on Xenophobia

August 7, 2018

By Christian Smith

Republicans are demonizing legal immigrants and undocumented workers, trying to scare people to the polls in November's midterm elections, said Congressman Darren Soto.

In an interview Tuesday with Cheddar, the Florida Democrat said GOP candidates are pushing xenophobic immigration policies because President Trump's policies have failed to address many voters' economic insecurities.

"How much in way of accomplishments have they had this past year?" Soto asked rhetorically. "Almost nothing. So they have to run on fear and division, which is exactly what they're doing."

The White House is considering a proposal that would limit the number of immigrants who are approved for green cards and citizenship, according to a report from NBC News. The proposal would make it harder for immigrants who have used government social services such as Social Security and food stamps to obtain long-term legal residency status.

Stricter immigration has been one of Trump's signature issues, but only 43 percent of Americans approve of the administration's approach, according to a new poll from Axios. That's on par with the president's overall approval rating, indicating how closely Trump may be identified with the issue. (Support was slightly higher for the president's border wall proposal, at 45 percent.)

Soto said voters are ahead of the GOP on immigration.

"This country is changing," he said. "We're becoming more diverse, and they're fighting against the tide."

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