Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), a libertarian, is one of the most conservative members of the House. Nevertheless, Rep. Amash has been criticized for being a supporter of illegal immigration, a charge he denies. The source of the criticism is Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC). Here is how ALIPAC describes itself:
Join the fight against illegal immigration and against any form of amnesty for illegal immigrants! We represent Americans of every race, political party, and walk of life working together to support the enforcement of our existing immigration and border laws instead of any form of Amnesty for illegal aliens. Visit us often and join our e-mail alerts to take action and help us stop and reverse illegal immigration in America! We are the world’s top source of information about illegal immigration, illegal alien crimes, amnesty attempts, immigration issues in campaigns and elections, statistics, facts, activism, legislation, laws, problems, and much more!”
Here is what ALPAC has to say about Rep. Amash:
Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) signed a letter to Senator Rand Paul on March 21, 2013, with 5 other members of Congress that stated Amash supports “providing a legal status, upon certain conditions” for illegal aliens. While Amash claims he would oppose full citizenship, it is fully expected that the courts will quickly override any attempt of Congress to create a second class form of citizenship. Any change in our current laws to accommodate millions of illegal immigrants will result in voting rights for tens of millions of illegals who will then vote against Republicans.
Rep. Amash’s support for “providing a legal status, upon certain conditions” is a rather mild, reasonable gesture toward justice from this very conservative a representative of a farming district in Michigan. Still, he is being savaged by extreme nativists who blindly follow ALIPAC. Ironically, it may be Rep. Amash’s relatively uncompromising stand on immigration reform that incites right-leaning extremists to demand even more. If Rep. Amash is on their enemies list, they can have few friends.
Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) stumbled in a similar way with a reasonable statement that infuriated his right-leaning critics already suspicious of his claim to ultra-conservative credentials. According to The Steuben Courier Advocate article cited below, speaking about the NY SAFE Act, U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, said “that residents should comply with the law’s provisions, including a requirement that guns categorized as assault weapons be registered with authorities. Fundamentally it is the law, and I would encourage people to respect that law,” Reed said.
A lawyer and Representative in Congress, Reed could not responsibly urge people to disobey laws, yet some of his erstwhile supporters have turned on him as you can see from comments (counterfeit, sickening) on the right-leaning “Primary Tom Reed” facebook page. Like Rep. Amash, by repeatedly expounding die-hard opposition to even reasonable gun regulations, Tom may have set a standard of expectations for his far right supporters that he can’t reasonably meet.
© William Hungerford – April 2014