Unfortunately, Republicans like Orange County’s Dana Rohrabacher are determined to encourage Donald Trump’s hard-line, anti-immigrant position rather than listen to constituents.
Rohrabacher has a long history of incendiary comments about immigrants and immigration.
In 2010, Rohrabacher had harsh words for the DREAM Act, a bill that would have provided legal protections to undocumented Americans who were brought to the country as children.
Rohrabacher said the bill would adversely impact “non-minority” citizens (presumably referring to white people). He also said liberal supporters of the bill “put racist preferences into law,” and that supporting the bill amounted to a “betrayal of Americans.” He derisively called supporters of the bipartisan bill “racist libs.”
In 2013, he reportedly made a Dreamer cry when she visited Capitol Hill to share her story with the congressman. In the meeting, Rohrabacher allegedly said that he “hates illegals” and made veiled threats about deporting the young woman, who was a constituent attending college in Rohrabacher’s district.
Rohrabacher recently equated immigrants to terrorists and restated his strong opposition to a permanent fix to DACA, a program started by President Obama that gives temporary legal status to Dreamers.
Trump announced in late 2017 that he was ending DACA on March 5, 2018, an announcement which Rohrabacher welcomed. However, Trump’s desire to end DACA is currently held up in the courts, leaving the status of Dreamers in legal limbo.
The voters in California are staunchly in favor of a legislative fix. “In today’s politically polarized environment, it is notable that majorities of California Democrats, Republicans, and independents support the DACA program,” says Lunna Lopes of the Public Policy Institute of California. “Indeed, DACA has a high level of support across the state’s regions and demographic groups, with at least three in four adults in favor.”
In Rohrabacher’s own district, 66 percent of voters support providing legal status for Dreamers. Rohrabacher’s racist remarks may play a part in his paltry 38 percent approval rating.
Unsurprisingly, the same poll shows 51 percent of voters disinclined to re-elect the Orange County congressman for another term.