The Tea Party is mainly a collection of conservative Republicans. And now we’re learning that anti-immigration Republicans are more concerned with being Republicans than they are with the issue of immigration:
You might expect anti-immigration groups to be in an uproar over spending cuts contained in the recent budget deal, like a $226 million cut to Border Security Fencing, Infrastructure, and Technology or $97 million in cuts to IT modernization programs at Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In fact, the cuts have generated barely a peep from border hawks, who have given the GOP a free pass even after years of campaigning for increased resources.
According to Rosemary Jenks, director of government affairs for NumbersUSA, her group is not protesting any of the reductions in spending. Nor will any Republicans be penalized in their annual grades for voting for them.
“For an administration that’s decided it’s not a priority, it doesn’t make sense to throw money at them,” Jenks told TPM in an interview before Congress agreed to a final spending deal.
There’s a bit of ju-jitsu going on here to try to make this sound like it’s the Administration’s fault. But here’s the deal. There’s a lot more tribalism in politics than anyone would like to admit. The reason Jon Stewart’s production staff can so easily find those juicy quotes where a politician or supporter says one thing one day and the complete opposite the next is because it happens so frequently and almost without any thought. If Republicans cut border security funding, it’s Democrats’ fault for de-emphasizing border security. If Republicans eliminate Medicare, it’s Democrats’ fault for putting the Medicare program on shaky fiscal footing.
And you can find the same stuff on the other side of the aisle. But this is a fairly egregious example. These anti-immigration groups are consumed by this stuff on a daily basis. They get a free shot to express disgust at Washington for not listening to their concerns, and they just sidestep it. It seems that the actual policy on immigration doesn’t matter. What matters is defending Republican actions.