POLITICS
07/09/2013 03:26 pm ET Updated Jul 22, 2013

Democrat Immigration Campaign Targets House Republicans

WASHINGTON -- The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is targeting House Republicans with an ad on immigration reform that serves as a greatest hits of sorts of Republicans' controversial statements on the topic, from disparaging "wetbacks" to dismissing "anchor babies."

House Republicans are holding a meeting on Wednesday to discuss their approach to immigration reform, after the Senate passed a bipartisan bill 68 to 32 last month. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has vowed not to take up the bill, and there are indications his conference won't agree to a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants -- possibly dooming reform because Democrats say they can't support a bill without it.

Democrats believe some Republicans can be convinced to support reform, and the congressional campaign committee will run its ads Tuesday and Wednesday in districts of those perhaps persuadable GOP members. The video mockingly predicts some of the things that might come up in the meeting, based on quotes from the members who will be in the room. "This is how we imagine the conversation will go," it begins.

Reps. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) and Gary Miller (R-Calif.) are quoted discussing "anchor babies" -- the term used by birthright citizenship opponents who say women come to the U.S. just to have children. It also highlights Rep. Louie Gohmert's (R-Texas) statement in April that border-crossers could be "radical Islamists." Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) is quoted using the derogatory term "wetback" in March to refer to Latino undocumented immigrants.

One of those targeted is Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), a previous hardliner on immigration who softened his stance more recently, after redistricting increased the Latino population of his district.

"The Dream Act will be a nightmare for the American people," Coffman is quoted as saying in 2010, referring to the bill to give legal status to so-called Dreamers, young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.

He more recently said he thinks Dreamers should be given a path to citizenship, but then voted to defund an Obama administration program that grants them deportation reprieve.

Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.), whose district also has a growing Latino population, is quoted in the ad saying he opposes birthright citizenship, which grants automatic citizenship to any child born in the United States.

"If you're going to be a citizen, you should be born to at least one parent who is a U.S. citizen," he said last year.

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10 Major U.S. Federal Immigration Laws

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