The Wall Street Journal editorial page excoriated Republicans on Saturday for positioning themselves as the party of maximum deportations.
House Republicans late Friday night had succeeded in passing two immigration bills -- one measure that would strip protections from the young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers and a funding bill meant to address the influx of 57,500 unaccompanied minors who have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally. Republican leaders pulled a previous funding bill on Thursday, the last scheduled day before the House's August recess, due to objections from conservatives that it didn't go far enough.
The Journal's sharply worded op-ed scolded the GOP "Deportation Caucus" for putting on a "screaming match on the floor in full view of the national media" and lamented the party's message to minorities ahead of the midterm elections.
"House Republicans may have scrambled enough on Friday to save themselves from a total meltdown. But this latest immigration debacle won't help the party's image, which is still recovering from the government shutdown debacle of 2011. A party whose preoccupation is deporting children is going to alienate many conservatives, never mind minority voters," the op-ed read.
The Journal's editorial page pointed out that the last-minute drama on the House floor drew attention away from the Senate, which was unable to marshal enough votes to move its own bill addressing the border crisis.
"This Democratic use of border children as midterm-election pawns should be the story, but instead the Deportation Republicans played into Mr. Obama's hands," the op-ed said. "Right on cue, the President held a press event on Friday at the White House that tattooed the GOP for refusing to solve the problem they claim is a crisis. The truth is that Mr. Obama doesn't even care if the border bill passes. What he really wants is the immigration issue to bash Republicans and drive Hispanic and other minority turnout in states like Colorado that could determine Senate control."
The op-ed also noted that House Republicans had finally come full circle -- by endorsing the message that failed GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney delivered in 2012.
"Readers may recall that the last Republican in an election year to support deporting immigrant children brought here through no fault of their own was Mitt Romney. A splendid voter attraction that was," the editors deadpanned.
Read the entire op-ed at The Wall Street Journal.