Once again, House Republicans are trying to attack the Biden administration’s border policies through a hearing featuring MAGA partisans and GOP allies as witnesses this week. First, Judiciary Republicans have selected a right-wing mainstay belonging to a Koch-funded think tank who appears on Fox News regularly to promote anti-immigrant sentiments, and whose work has been endorsed by a hate group. They also selected a New York county official working to nationalize a state and local dispute in order to target urban areas like New York City working to shelter large numbers of asylum seekers instead of investigating the Republican governors responsible for bussing migrants to far-flung metropolitan areas in the first place. Another week, another MAGA political stunt.
Retired Chief, U.S. Border Patrol; Distinguished Senior Fellow, Texas Public Policy Foundation
Rodney Scott Frequently Attacks the Biden Administration On Fox News. A former U.S. border patrol chief and a staunch supporter of the Trump administration’s inhumane approach to immigration who was ousted by the Biden administration, Scott has become a frequent face on right-wing media, attacking the Biden administration and echoing right-wing talking points.
Rodney Scott, Whose Work Was Endorsed By A Hate Group, Is Part Of A Koch-Funded Right-Wing Think Tank. Scott is a distinguished senior fellow for a right-wing think tank known as the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF), an organization that is, reportedly, partially responsible for the Texas GOP’s far-right shift. TPPF is fueled by climate change skepticism and anti-trans sentiment, and is closely affiliated with a grab-bag of right-wing think tanks and legislative networks like the State Policy Network, and the massive right-wing model legislation farm American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Scott himself has also been endorsed by anti-immigrant hate group Center for Immigration Studies.
City Supervisor, Orangetown, New York
Republicans Are Only Nationalizing A Local Dispute Between New York Counties For Political Gain. Kenny, a real estate lawyer who received her JD from St. John’s University in Queens, knows full well that New York City is bound by a longstanding court order to house anyone in need of shelter, including asylum seekers. County Republicans have been accused of “politicizing th[e] issue and treating these individuals like political pawns instead of human beings.” Instead of investigating Republican governors like Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and Greg Abbott (R-TX) who have been shipping hundreds of migrants to New York City every day—without coordinating with local officials—Congressional Republicans are trying to turn a local dispute into a national issue. As part of her campaign against New York City’s court-ordered migrant sheltering plans, Kenny has aligned with freshman Republican Congressman Mike Lawler (R-NY). Kenny, who endorsed Mike Lawler (R-NY) in her official capacity ahead of the midterm elections and helped fundraise for his campaign, is a longtime ally. She supported him while Lawler served in the New York State Assembly, hosting joint events, town halls, and press conferences.
- County Legislators: Republicans Are Treating Migrants Like Political Pawns. “Orange County Legislator Kevindaryán Luján (D-Newburgh) said he and the county’s Democratic caucus have spoken out against the actions of Orange and Rockland county executives and plan to look into the legality of the counties’ executive orders put in place to try to stop the migrants from relocating. ‘It is disheartening to see some county executives politicizing this issue and treating these individuals like political pawns instead of human beings,’ he said in an interview with POLITICO. ‘These asylum-seekers knew nothing of the political circus that surrounded their arrival, and I am glad we were able to receive them in a welcoming manner instead of retraumatizing them as could have been the case with the county executive’s approach.’” [Politico, 5/12/23]
Even Though Local Dispute Remains Under State and Local Court Jurisdiction, Kenny Has Used The Issue To Litigate Sanctuary Cities Nationwide. Over the past few weeks, Kenny has sought and obtained a restraining order from her county Supreme Court aimed at barring New York City officials from using local hotels to house asylum seekers. But she has made it clear that she is targeting immigration policy nationwide by calling for federal action against sanctuary cities like New York: “The people that NYC is sending to Orangetown have been failed first by the Federal government, which has not adequately addressed immigration issues, and now by the City of New York, which had let people know that they would take them in as a sanctuary city. To send these people to a location that is not equipped to meet their needs, is a betrayal of that often-expressed desire by NYC to be a sanctuary for them.” Kenny supported a county-wide state of emergency and joined a town board meeting to “explore ways to shut down Mayor Adams’ plan to bus the migrants.”
Kenny Has Taken To Fox News To Assail Plans To Shelter Migrants Seeking Help In Her Town. In mid-May, Kenny appeared on Fox News to assail New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ plan to shelter migrants in hotels in nearby counties, stating, “he was looking to set up a shelter right in our town, basically a homeless shelter” and suggested that Adams was “desperately” running “deceptive tactics” to handle the influx of migrants.