On Oct. 20, Sen. David Vitter issued a press release through his website touting the high score he has received in the latest legislative report card issued by Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy (CSP). CSP’s report ranks legislators based on their voting records regarding so-called “national security matters.”
Specifically, Vitter’s voting record on border security is a primary reason cited for him being dubbed a “Champion of National Security.” Vitter certainly was pleased, and like so many anti-immigrant legislators have recently, he used the “honor” as an opportunity to conflate concerns about the Ebola virus and the radicals of the so-called Islamic State with broader issues concerning our broken immigration system:
“’ISIS and the Ebola virus are huge national security threats right now – but the biggest problem is that this Administration hasn’t put forward any real or comprehensive national security strategy on any front, including securing our borders,’ Vitter said. ‘Without a secure border, we don’t just have an illegal alien crisis, we are actually increasing the threat of terrorists entering our country and the likelihood of a public health crisis. I’m honored to receive this recognition and I’ll keep fighting in the Senate for strong national security.’”
This is all, of course, unfounded and largely distorted.
As chairman of the laughably named Senate Border Security and Enforcement First Immigration Caucus, Vitter has done as much as anyone to block meaningful immigration reform that would’ve provided the Department of Homeland Security with billions in funding earmarked for essentially militarizing our southern border. So much for 1) small government Conservatism and 2) actually caring about border security. Context for understanding such bold-faced hypocrisy is contextualized by Vitter’s celebration of this hollow title bestowed by Gaffney, who was recently profiled
What kind of an official celebrates the fact that he or she has been honored by a “birther” who openly claims that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated our federal government at nearly every level, who has been expelled from important mainstream conservative events like the annual CPAC conference due to his extremism, and who labels his opponents (like Grover Norquist and Huma Abedin) as secret Muslim operatives?
More troubling, Vitter notes at the close of his press release that CSP’s rubric for identifying their “Champions” has much to do with an agenda most would associate with the organized anti-immigrant movement and not necessarily with the organized anti-Muslim movement that Gaffney himself champions. Increasingly as of late, we at Imagine2050 are seeing important anti-Muslim leaders and their organizations more openly adopt arguments against all types of immigration, many authorized channels included, through a language and framing employed more regularly by the anti-immigrant movement–border security.