Originally Published in Salon
Kenny Stancil - March 29, 2021
Stephen Miller and Republicans hope to turn a seasonal uptick in migrant arrivals into a political weapon for 2022
Immigrants from Honduras who arrived across the Rio Grande river from Mexico rest on the U.S. side of the river on March 27, 2021, following their crossing, before making their way towards a makeshift processing checkpoint. (Ed Jones/AFP via Getty Images)
"The GOP's framing of migrant children arriving at the border as a 'crisis' is nothing but a divide and distract tactic," America's Voice, an immigrant rights organization, said Saturday in a video statement. "Their focus on the border is a cynical and strategic racist play for political gain."
America's voice pointed to what Stephen Miller, a white nationalist and top adviser to former President Donald Trump, said last month: "From a purely political standpoint, [immigration] is a recipe for Democrats to have a historic drubbing in the midterms if we can make it even as big an issue or bigger than Obamacare."
As America's Voice noted, many in the GOP are "fully embracing" Miller's strategy. The National Republican Senatorial Committee "has already started running xenophobic dog-whistle ads" against President Biden and congressional Democrats, and more than 32 GOP lawmakers have "used the hashtag 'BidensBorderCrisis' alongside hate groups and far-right media personalities."
The most high-profile stunt came Friday when more than a dozen congressional Republicans traveled to Texas, where they engaged in a "fear-mongering photo op," as America's Voice described the lawmakers' tour of the Rio Grande aboard machine gun-equipped boats.