Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA) is one of those low-profile do-nothing Representatives in the House that manages to get re-elected over and over again because he represents a district which is changing, but still has its fair share of bigots and tea party types. I know. I live there, and he represents me.
An adopted son of Simi Valley, Gallegly panders to the Tea Party while pulling in major money from builders, insurers, and defense contractors in California.
He is also extreme -- highly extreme -- on the topic of immigration, despite the fact that his district has a growing Latino population and relies on that population to keep the economy moving.
He is also now the gatekeeper for any immigration legislation we might see coming from the House of Representatives. As chair of the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Immigration, he is taking a hard-line approach to immigration reform.
Via America's Voice:
Yes, Gallegly wants to force a mass exodus of undocumented immigrants from the United States -- said as much at his first hearing:
"Good morning," Gallegly begins. "I have long said that the way to solve the problem of illegal immigration is fairly simple.
"First, we must enforce our laws and secure the border. Second, we must remove the magnets that encourage illegal immigration. And finally, we must remove the benefits that make it easier for them to stay."
In other words, if it’s not easy for “them” to stay, they leave.
In a July 2009 op-ed for The Hill, Gallegly argued for the passage of his animal-crush bill, noting that such snuff films are somehow connected to illegal immigration and crime: "[G]ang activity, illegal gambling, drug trafficking, illegal immigration and acts of human violence all go hand in hand with animal cruelty." (The piece had been posted on Gallegly's official congressional website, but it has since been taken down.)
In the op-ed, Gallegly echoed the conservative criticism that illegal immigrants bring with them a bigger world of crime, and he points out that an Arizona crime syndicate that "preyed on illegal immigrants, subjecting them to kidnappings, home invasions, and armed robberies" is also being accused of "raising roosters for illegal cockfighting matches." While linking illegal immigration and animal-crush videos, Gallegly also maintained that animal abusers tend to become serial killers. The Son of Sam, the Boston Strangler, and the Unabomber all had a history of torturing animals, he writes, and Jeffrey Dahmer "progressed from cutting up animals to cutting up humans and eating them." Gallegly was lumping together illegal immigration, animal murders, and the worst serial killers of modern times.
Gallegly has long been a leader of the movement to end birthright citizenship, and his idea of immigration reform is mass deportation. Despite the fact that 40% of his district is Latino, Gallegly really only represents Simi Valley, a bedroom community comprised of mostly white people fleeing the San Fernando Valley in search of a place with more people "like them".
If you're reading this and think that Republicans care about the economy, think again. When it comes to immigration, they're quite willing to blast open the economy and drive states into bankruptcy -- California in particular -- by deporting people who contribute billions to the economy on a state and national level.
Here's what he wants to do after shipping people out of the state, whether they're here legally or not (he's also targeting H1B visas, by the way). First ship them out, then make E-Verify mandatory.
Gallegly is fearmongering and playing to the xenophobes who fear anyone who looks, speaks, acts or thinks differently from them. Make no mistake -- he's as bad as the Steve Kings and LaMar Smiths out there...but he flies under the radar on purpose, while intentionally trying to stir division between Latinos and blacks, native Americans, and others.
Watch out for him...I'll be keeping an eye out, too.