Opinion: Senator hopes to win voters by demonizing immigrants

Louisiana gubernatorial candidate, U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., waits before the start of a debate, sponsored by WDSU television, at their studio in New Orleans, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Louisiana gubernatorial candidate, U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., waits before the start of a debate, sponsored by WDSU television, at their studio in New Orleans, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

[dropcap]H[/dropcap]ere’s a dumb strategy for a political party: Target the nation’s largest minority population and attack them with discriminatory legislation and hate speech. That seems to be the GOP’s plan moving forward.

Later this month the Senate will be voting on a controversial immigration bill aimed at punishing sanctuary cities like Chicago, whose Welcoming City Ordinance protects undocumented immigrants from being held for immigration authorities unless they have been convicted of a serious crime or are being sought on a criminal warrant.

Introduced by Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), the new Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act would withhold key federal grants and increase prison sentences for those who try to re-enter the United States after being deported.

“Our legislation will stop sending sanctuary cities federal taxpayer dollars, so hopefully they get a clue,” said Vitter.

Vitter says his legislation was prompted by the tragic death Kathryn Steinle, who was shot in the back on July 1 in San Francisco and died two hours later at a hospital. The alleged shooter, Francisco Sanchez, is an undocumented immigrant from Mexico.

The thing is, Vitter is also running a losing campaign to become governor of Louisiana. The vote on his new bill will likely happen days before Louisiana’s gubernatorial election on Oct. 24.

It’s disgusting that an opportunistic, Donald Trump-lite Republican like Vitter is politicizing Steinle’s tragic death and demonizing an entire group of people for the actions of a lone gunman in a last ditch, Hail Mary bid to win over voters.

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