Republicans tend to have a not-entirely undeserved image of being anti-immigration; however, a small band of Republicans in the House of Representatives have other ideas. Congress’s continued lack of action on the issue, coupled with bluster from some of the party’s would-be presidential candidates, has tarred the party’s image on immigration.
Just last month the House of Representatives removed a minor provision in the National Defense Authorization Act that would have enabled the Pentagon to consider allowing undocumented immigrants who join the US military to get on a path to citizenship; however, some of the Republicans who supported the measure say that the scope of party support for the measure was not ultimately reflected in the final vote.
A number of Republicans who agreed with the provision may have ultimately voted against it out of loyalty to their party or even out of concern that the entire defense bill may have been scuttled if the immigration clause was not removed. “The reality of the situation is that there are many more Republicans who are in favor of reforming our immigration system than the media reports,” claims Californian Republican representative David Valadao. “Unfortunately, as is common in Washington, the loudest, most radical voices within a party are often times the loudest, even if they don’t reflect the opinions of the whole.”
Representative Jeff Denham agrees, adding: “I think there are a number of members who’ve never served in the military who have no idea about the number of immigrants who have not only served honorably but many of which have given their lives for our country.”