Congressman Dana Rohrabacher ignores Californians on immigration

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher's incendiary, often racist, language about immigration puts him at odds with the beliefs and desires of people in his district and across California.

The majority of Californians hold these immigration views: DACA is good, immigrants help the economy, and Congress should find a way to help undocumented immigrants stay in the country legally.

But not Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa).

Rohrabacher has a long history of anti-immigrant rhetoric and voting, showing he’s more concerned with demonizing immigrants than working toward policies to make America a more welcoming, safe place.

A recent Chapman University poll of Orange County residents shows almost two-thirds agree immigrants contribute more to the economy than they take. The sentiment is backed up by a bipartisan analysis which showed “Immigrants earned $1.3 trillion and contributed $105 billion in state and local taxes and nearly $224 billion in federal taxes in 2014,” says ABC News.

When talking about undocumented immigrants (whom Rohrabacher derisively refers to as “illegals”), Californians are fully supportive of finding a pathway to legalizing their status. In Orange County, 83 percent of residents believe there should be a way for undocumented immigrants to stay in the country, if certain requirements are met. More than 80 percent of all Californians agree.

Rohrabacher often rants about undocumented immigrants with false accusations of “draining the money away from the schools and hospitals meant for our own people.” He also compared¬†immigrants to terrorists, and has allegedly told at least one person that he “hates illegals.”

In addition to the truly abhorrent rhetoric, his allegations fly in the face of facts.

According to Meg Wiehe, the director of programs for the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, “Undocumented immigrants contributed more than $11.6 billion in state and local taxes each year.” Far from “draining money away,” immigrants (documented or undocumented) are an economic boon to communities.

As for his racist insinuations that undocumented immigrants pose some sort of increased danger to communities, this claim has been debunked many times over by fact-checkers.

When it comes to DACA, the 2012 program started by President Obama to grant legal protections to immigrants who were brought to the United States as children (known as Dreamers), Californians are overwhelmingly supportive. In Orange County, 78 percent of residents support DACA, very close to the 85 percent of all Californians.

Rohrabacher viciously disagrees, once claiming those supporting a bipartisan bill to provide legal protections to these young people as “racist libs [liberals],” going to far as to say supporting the issue was a “betrayal of Americans.”

California has more immigrants than any other state. And Orange County is quickly changing, both in terms of demographics and political tendencies. Rohrabacher is a 15-term congressman with antiquated views far out of the mainstream of today’s world.

These polls show just how out of touch he really is.