Rep. Paul Broun’s ranting over ‘illegal aliens’ exposes ‘what a lot of Republicans think’

By David Ferguson
Wednesday, January 8, 2014 10:37 EDT
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Rep. Paul Broun poses with a lion he killed (YouTube)
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A Georgia progressive activist said that Republican Rep. Paul Broun has got it all wrong on Democrats and immigration reform. Of the far-right Tea Party Congressman, Bryan Long of Better Georgia said Broun can always be counted on to say what other Republicans think, but are too embarrassed to say outright because Broun “doesn’t have a clutch between his mind and his mouth.”

On Tuesday, Broun said in an interview with Georgia Public Broadcasting that to win in the state of Georgia, Democrats will need to recruit “illegal aliens” to vote.

“The only way Georgia is going to change is if we have all these illegal aliens in here in Georgia, and give them the right to vote. It would be morally wrong, it would be illegal to do so, under our current law,” he said.

Broun continued, “The Democrats want to make them all basically dependent on the federal government so they can continue their radical, big government agenda.”

“He’s wrong and he knows it,” Long said in an interview with Raw Story. “He’s even using the phrase ‘illegal alien,’ which is such an outdated phrase. It’s so far beyond being a dog whistle.”

“These are people. These are families,” Long said. “Families who are facing really tough bureaucratic and legal requirements.”

A full 80 percent of Georgians favor immigration reform, Long added, pointing to a survey by the Alliance for Citizenship.

“But what he said is right in line with what a lot of Republicans think,” said the Better Georgia founder. “We can always depend on Paul Broun to say out loud what others are thinking quietly. He just doesn’t have a clutch between his mind and his mouth.”

Broun’s argument with immigration reform is wrong on the facts, as well, said Long.

“Actually, all these illegal aliens are getting federal largesse and taking taxpayer’s dollars,” Broun told GPB. “That’s the only way this state is going to become Democratic again, in the next number of decades. It only helps the Democrats if we legalize all these illegal aliens in this country who the Democrats want to put on federal welfare programs — and actually, they are on federal welfare programs today.”

Long countered, “He’s just wrong. His facts are wrong. The truth is, most undocumented immigrants don’t qualify for federal programs.”

“Nobody wants to put these undocumented workers on the voter rolls immediately,” Long went on, pointing out that the path to citizenship is a 13-year process that involves learning U.S. history, learning English and passing criminal background checks. “So Paul Broun’s argument is just based on a lie. It’s a tough road. Nobody’s ‘giving’ anybody anything. It’s 13 years of hard work.”

“We have to have an honest conversation about immigration in Georgia,” said Long. “Inaction is not an option, but [Broun] doesn’t care about that.”

“We shouldn’t be surprised, though,” he concluded. “This isn’t just Paul Broun’s way of thinking, it’s the Republican way of thinking. They simply have no empathy or the ability to care for anyone who’s not like them.”

David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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