Shifting Immigration Scapegoat From Hispanics to “Radical Islamists”

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Rep. Louie Gohmert may have a solution to the Republican Party's struggle with Hispanic voters — shift his Party's rhetoric from the fear and mistrust of Hispanic immigrants, whom they will need to win future elections, onto “radical Islamists”. It's a craft he has been honing since we first heard of “terror babies” anchoring Muslim extremists onto US soil.

Before authorities could apprehend the second Boston bombing suspect, Gohmert theorized their connections to, “what Osama Bin Laden charged Chechens to do many years ago”, and said that our first response should be to, “secure the border.” It seems he is trying to play the line of anti-terrorist and not anti-immigrant. Gohmert told C-SPAN, “We owe it to the immigrants who have come in legally to keep them safe as well. We know Al Qaeda has camps over with the drug cartels on the other side of the Mexican border.”

At first blush it may sound like what the Hispanic Leadership Group called a, “blatant attempt to disingenuously twist public sentiment at a vulnerable time”, but Louie asserts his frustration that  terrorists are being “trained to act Hispanic” and cross our border when, “they are really radical Islamists.” It's not completely surprising with the two major issues of the day being Immigration Reform, and a national tragedy perpetrated by foreign born individuals, that the lowest common denominator would be to connect the two using fear of an international terrorist plot. But the prudent thing to do is wait for more facts to surface before jumping to conclusions that could insight fear or intolerance unnecessarily.

Officials are now saying that the two men were motivated by what they saw as US aggression in the Muslim world and did not have connections to international terrorist groups. Philip Mudd, a former FBI and CIA counterterrorism official, said the Boston attacks more closely resemble, “Columbine than any connection to Al-Qaeda.” New ideas, not new targets, is what the national Republican Party should be looking for, because sweeping generalizations about a major religion and pitting Americans against other Americans, no matter if they are naturalized or natural born, is never the answer.

Follow me on Twitter at: @joethepeb

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About Author

Joe Deshotel

Joe was born and raised in Beaumont, Tx, but live music and politics brought him to Austin. He has worked in and around government and elections for over a decade including for a member of US Congress, the Texas Legislature, the Mayor of Austin. He currently serves as Communications Director for the Travis County Democratic Party. He is most interested in transportation, energy and technology issues. He also likes Texas Hold'em and commuting on his electric skateboard. Follow me on Twitter at @joethepleb.

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