The National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act (H.R. 1505), authored by Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), would give the Department of Homeland Security expanded powers to obtain operational control of federal lands within a 100-mile swath of the northern and southern U.S. borders. Bishop claims the bill is necessary to help protect the country's borders.
The agencies tasked with border security disagree. The United States Border Patrol has been slow to embrace the bill and has asserted that it has the border security issue under control.
A recent report from the Pew Hispanic Center buttresses the Border Patrol's claims. The report concludes that immigration from Mexico slowed to "a standstill" between 2005 and 2010.
H.R. 1505 proposes a solution to a problem that simply does not exist. By stretching Homeland Security's increased powers to states like Maine and Minnesota, it demonstrates that its real intent is not to bolster national security -- but instead to undermine federal regulations over a host of lands and industries.
This breathtaking cynicism is obvious to Hispanics, who are angry at being portrayed as bogey-men to advance the agenda of Rep. Bishop and the Tea Party -- an agenda that professes to reduce federal regulation.
Immigration is an important issue that this country must address and resolve. But using immigrants as legislative props, in such a clumsy and reckless fashion, erodes faith in good government.
Now that Governor Romney is the presumptive Republican nominee and the de facto GOP leader, he must move to silence the extremists within his party, lest they continue the damage done during the primary. The Hispanic Institute calls on the Romney Campaign and the Republican Party to convince Republican members of Congress that H.R. 1505 is a dishonest and corrosive bill. Doing so would represent an easy first step toward convincing Hispanics that the GOP values their voices and votes -- and intends to take their issues seriously.
Source: The Hispanic Institute