Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) denounced a set of bills adding immigration restrictions as “fear-mongering” and “anti-immigrant” on Wednesday.
Two of the bills increase penalties for certain crimes for immigrants, making DUI and allegations of Social Security fraud deportable offenses. Tlaib said the measures “violate fundamental due process.”
She argued the other two bills — one which criminalizes evading Border Patrol and another preventing entry of those “involved with terrorism or attacks against Israel” — further penalize conduct that was already illegal and serve no purpose other than “to demonize migrants and asylum seekers.”
“Once again, my colleagues have chosen to waste our time inciting racism that puts our immigrant neighbors at risk and makes our communities less safe,” she said in a statement. “These four bills have one common theme: Dehumanizing our immigrant neighbors. These are racist, fear-mongering bills that do nothing to fix our outdated and inhumane immigration system.”
The “No Immigration Benefits for Hamas Terrorists Act” passed Wednesday in a 422-2 vote, with only Tlaib and Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) voting against and Rep. Delia Ramirez (D-Ill.) voting present.
The bill prevents any person affiliated with Hamas or the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) from entering the U.S., and any person who “participated in or otherwise facilitated” the Oct. 7 attacks on Israel from receiving immigration benefits, including asylum.
Tlaib did not oppose the content of that bill, instead arguing it was “redundant” due to federal law already preventing entry of the group’s members.
“It’s just another GOP messaging bill being used to incite anti-Arab, anti-Palestinian, and anti-Muslim hatred that makes communities like ours unsafe,” she said.
Tlaib, who is of Palestinian heritage, has been one of the loudest voices in support of a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war and in support of Palestinians. The Biden administration has refused calls to push for a cease-fire but has pushed the Israeli government to slow its military operation in Gaza and facilitate a Palestinian government, which it has refused.
The congresswoman was censured by the House over criticism of Israel in November.