Fox News’ morning program America’s Newsroom invited Rep. Allen West (R-FL) to share his thoughts on the announcement, and he wasted no time floating unfounded conspiracy theories and misinformation:
“I can start to ask questions about what is going to happen as far as their right to vote. Is this one of those backdoor opportunities to allow people in the next five months to get the opportunity to vote? Will we see Janet Napolitano and the president come out with a new edict that says ‘since we allow this people to be here legally, we’re now going to allow them to have the opportunity to vote?’… Why is it being done at this point in time? Why have we not allowed a national debate on this issue to really get a sense about what the American people feel?”
In fact, the DREAM Act has been up for debate for over a decade. Some version of the DREAM Act has been introduced in every Congress since 2001. And despite West’s insistence that the American people have not been heard, polls show that most Americans support the DREAM Act, which goes even further than President Obama’s executive order he will unveil today. That hasn’t stopped West’s fellow Republicans from blocking the passage of the law at every turn, most recently in 2010 when 55 Democrats and Republicans in the Senate voted in favor of the bill only to be blocked by a Republican filibuster.
This is not the first time West has reacted poorly over undocumented immigration. Last year he likened the problem to a military invasion by a foreign country, and his first hire after he won his election in 2010 was a radio host with a history of offensive, xenophobic statements.