Miami U.S. Rep. Gimenez helps create chaos, not solutions, on immigration | Opinion

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

U.S. Rep. Carlos Gimenez of Miami has been a go-to guy on immigration, at least in one way.

Every week, you’ll see him go to a Fox News or Republican-friendly news outlet and make outrageous and highly partisan charges about what’s going on at the southern border.

Some of his claims are dubious, such as the claim that the beleaguered Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas committed “high crimes” and deserves to be impeached because of the way he has interpreted the implementation of policy, which is the prerogative of the executive branch.

Some of Gimenez’s claims are distasteful, including his echoing of virulent anti-immigrant tropes describing what’s going on at our border as a purposeful “flood” of illegal immigrants into the United States. Here, Gimenez, a proud immigrant, seems willing to deny a shot at the American dream his own family was offered a generation ago.

Echoing Trump

And then, there some of Gimenez’s statements that are downright dangerous,

Including the false claim that this administration is deliberately enabling illegal immigration, part of the odious but ascendant “white replacement theory” that Donald Trump is promoting when he says migrants “poison the blood” of America.

In short, Gimenez makes a lot of noise about immigration, but his record ends at just noise. That much was proven this week in dramatic fashion, with Gimenez voting for impeaching Mayorkas. Meanwhile, Republican House leaders sabotaged the best shot at bipartisan compromise on the border in a generation, endangering crucial aid to our allies Ukraine and Israel.

Mayorkas

To be clear, Mayorkas’s management of the Department of Homeland Security and the border has been wildly uneven. But without any comprehensive immigration reform since the 1980s, every DHS secretary has had to use unwieldy and sometimes unwise interpretations of their authority to handle the realities on the ground.

Gimenez himself seemed to acknowledge that when he spoke in favor of passage of the draconian House Resolution 2, which would codify some of the most extreme policies of the Trump administration by granting new authorities to the Department of Homeland Security.

The bipartisan deal that arose out of the Senate didn’t go as far H.R. 2, but it was an answer to the urgency that Gimenez himself placed on congressional action. The new bill, if put up to a vote, even had a high chance of becoming law. But that was the problem.

Immigration bill

Getting something done on immigration could have benefited the Biden administration along with benefiting the United States. For that reason, and at Donald Trump’s behest, Gimenez declared the legislation “dead on arrival” when the bill’s text was revealed recently.

Without a border deal, Gimenez will be able to go on a lot more MAGA television shows this year to shout untruths and conspiracy theories about immigration. What he won’t be able to do is say that he was working in the best interests of South Florida and the United States when he went along with impeaching Mayorkas and helping to scuttle bipartisan immigration compromise.

Phil Ehr is a retired U.S. Navy commander and reconnaissance aviator who is running as a Democrat for Florida’s 28th congressional district against Republican U.S. Rep. Carlos Gimenez.