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Republicans Have Nothing To Offer But Fear Itself

Another one of the GOP’s dishonest closing arguments in campaign 2018 is fear of immigrants. The GOP originally planned to run on the tax cuts and the economy but those arguments have fallen flat. Most Americans have seen no benefit from the GOP tax cuts and the tax bill has become increasingly unpopular. In a recent internal GOP poll, voters said by a 2–1 margin that the Trump tax cuts favored the wealthy rather than the middle class.

The GOP is also on the defensive on the health care issue. The voters realize that the GOP has been hell bent on eliminating the pre-existing conditions protections in the Affordable Care Act for years. In the Congress, most Republican members have voted over 50 times to completely repeal the ACA without a replacement plan. Moreover, twenty red states — including Nebraska — have filed a lawsuit contending that the pre-existing condition clause ban is unconstitutional.

Because the voters have rejected their agenda, the GOP is now running a dishonest and racist campaign aimed at ginning up fear of immigrants to turn out their base. The GOP arguments on immigration are all false.

If you were to get all of your information from Trump and Fox News, you would believe that we are being overwhelmed by a horde of illegal immigrants. The reality is illegal immigration has been in steady decline since 2004. As of 2014, the number of people living in the U.S. without proper documentation had fallen to its lowest level in a decade. Between 2008 and the 2014, the number of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. had actually dropped from 12 million to 10.9 million.

Similarly, border crossings have been in decline for years. Monthly illegal border crossings declined from a high of approximately 250,000 in 2000 to around 40,000 by 2018. In addition, the number of persons who have been either turned away or apprehended at our southern border has declined over the past ten years.

The radical right has also played the fear card by trying to convince the voters that undocumented workers are on a crime spree and are a threat to our safety. Once again, Trump and his followers are lying to the American people.

The reality is that multiple studies at all levels of government indicate that undocumented people commit violent crimes at lower rates than natural citizens. Since 1980, the immigrant population in America has increased 118%. At the same time, the rate of violent crime has fallen by 36%.

A 2018 study by the far right wing Cato Institute provides more evidence that immigrants are more law abiding than U.S. citizens. This study found that: “Native-born residents were most likely to commit and be convicted of crimes, while unauthorized immigrants saw a conviction rate that was about 50% lower. Legal immigrants appeared to be the most law-abiding, with 86% fewer convictions than native-born Texans.”

Contrary to what the Republicans are telling us, immigration is actually a benefit to the U.S., especially to our economic well being and retirement security. Undocumented workers aren’t eligible for public services but they do pay taxes. As a matter of fact, unauthorized workers pay Social Security and Medicare taxes without collecting any benefits.

Fischer, Sasse, Fortenberry, Bacon and Smith all have contributed to this country’s dysfunctional immigration system by slavishly supporting Trump and the GOP party line. They have been an obstacle to immigration reform since they took office. It is the conservative wing of the GOP that has blocked progress on immigration reform.

All the GOP has left in this cycle are fear and lies. Their tax cut has failed and they have exploded the deficit. Mitch McConnell has promised that the D.C Republicans will cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid if they win the election. The GOP has also promised to take another run at repealing the ACA if they should prevail in November.

The GOP is spreading fear about immigrants because they want to distract the voters from its regressive agenda. If voting didn’t matter, the GOP wouldn’t be trying to prevent you from voting. Had enough? Vote Democratic on November 6 for a change! The stakes are too high for you to stay home!

I’m a trial lawyer, a Democratic activist and a sports fan.

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