Arizona Dem: GOP Linking Race to Immigration 'Makes It Even a More Dangerous Issue'
An Arizona Democrat said race is one of the key reasons why Republicans aren't moving forward on immigration reform.
Rep. Raul Grijalva told MSNBC that he sees the influx of illegal immigrants on the southern border, including thousands of unaccompanied minors, as "not necessarily a resource issue, as much as it is the fact that we have no immigration reform out of a broken system."
"And that breakage is what is causing of the isolation of people, it's causing the break up of families and it is causing less security and less economic growth for this country," he said. "On the two subsectors in my district, there's 4,500 Border Patrol agents, Humane Sector, 691, Douglas, another 400. That's almost 6,000 Border Patrol agents there. And so I think it's the mission as well that we know that the cartels and organize crime are responsible for human smuggling, drug smuggling, we should be after breaking that up and we should be about tying up their assets that are in the JP Morgans of the United States, like we do with terrorist groups, like we do with other enemies of this country and begin to shrink their capacity to be doing what they're doing. I think that's the target of the long-term."
Grijalva argued that only immigration reform would stop the problem, and said Republicans not getting on board "is about politics and voting base that they are afraid of, and afraid will never align with them."
"It is also about a very simple issue with the Republicans that if they can suppress votes, eliminate votes then they continue to retain power, they come up with excuses, 'it's Obama's fault, we can't trust him,'" he said. "They come up with excuses about not doing anything. Chamber of Commerce is for immigration reform. Seventy-plus percent of the American people are for immigration reform. The economy is for immigration reform. And yet, yet, despite all of the pleading, all the compromises, all the concessions, we get a 'no' from Boehner."
When asked if President Obama should move forward on executive orders where Congress doesn't act, the congressman replied, "I think the president needs to be bold, he needs to be ample, we need to unify families and we need to look at this issue, not just as deportation, detention issue but as an issue of unification."
"You know, this great nation of ours is from many there is one. This is the immigrant experience we're going through right now and we should be about integrating people and not doing what we're doing, leaving people in the shadows and segregating people," Grijalva continued."I also think that underlining this whole issue, in particular this immigration issue we're confronting, underlining that is the issue of race. You like it or not, it's part of partial, the Republican Party has linked those two things together and it makes it even a more dangerous kind of issue not to settle and not to come to some conclusion with."