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Katrina Vanden Heuvel: GOP 'Driven By Know-nothing Nativism' And Was Never Going To Reform Immigration

Katrina Vanden Heuvel, editor of The Nation, on Sunday blasted the Republican Party's "know-nothing nativism anti-immigrant" ideology after Dr. Ben Carson criticized President Barack Obama's recent executive orders to reform the immigration system.

Katrina Vanden Heuvel, editor of The Nation, on Sunday blasted the Republican Party's "know-nothing nativism anti-immigrant" ideology after Dr. Ben Carson criticized President Barack Obama's recent executive orders to reform the immigration system.

On ABC's This Week, Democratic strategist James Carville asserted that Americans would understand why he had to take action on immigration because Republicans in the House had 515 days to act on the Senate's comprehensive reform bill, but refused to take action.

"No, it's their fault, and he exposed them brilliantly," Carville said. "And every Democrat I know said, 'Ha ha.' And every Republican said, 'How can he do this to us?'"

Carson argued that the president was making the issue partisan instead of dealing "with things that are pro-American."

"And one of the things that we have to recognize is we have millions of people in this country, in our inner cities, in our rural areas, in Appalachia, who are suffering," Carson continued. "Why don't we deal with them?"

"Wait a minute," Vanden Heuvel interrupted. "Why are you pitting those people against the undocumented immigrants? I agree with you that this shouldn't be a Democratic or Republican problem, though the gap between the two parties is so clear. And for the the Latino community, they know which party is on their side."

"But this is about lifting those up who are suffering from a recovery which isn't helping them," she noted. "And this should be about lifting wages for all. This should be about a humane, moral politics."

Former Bush aide Matthew Dowd advised Republicans to deal with the "Latino issue" by passing their own version of an immigration bill as soon as they took over Congress in January.

"The politics of the Republican Party today are not George W.'s," Vanden Heuvel reminded Dowd. "You have a Republican Party which is driven in large measure by a know-nothing nativism anti-immigrant stance, and so I think this is dangerous for them."

As the segment ended, ABC host George Stephanopoulos asked Carson if he could support the bipartisan Senate bill that was passed nearly 18 months ago.

"I would have to read it thoroughly before I could answer that question," Carson replied to snickers from the panel.


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