It must be something in the Kool-Aid Republicans or, in this case, Republican presidential hopefuls—slurp!
Remember Mitt Romney’s flip-flopping stance on immigration? Well, turns out in the GOP presidential hopeful ranks, flip-flopping is fast becoming a must-have characteristic when attempting a run.
The latest flip-flopper is none other than New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Turns out, Christie has quietly aligned the Garden State with Texas and the other 20-plus red states seeking to stop President Barack Obama’s executive order on immigration from moving forward. This, according to Gordon MacInnes, head of the liberal New Jersey Policy Perspective group, will harm an estimated 149,000 undocumented immigrants in New Jersey that the president’s order could have helped.
Meanwhile, a Rutgers-Eagleton poll in December showed that most New Jerseyans support Obama’s immigration policy, which will provide an opportunity to apply for three years of relief from deportation and work permits, available to undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. before 2010 and were younger than 16 years or have at least one child who is a citizen or legal resident.
Christie, overcome most likely by a poll that showed him as least favorite to become the GOP front-runner next year, jumped on board with the governors of Louisiana and South Dakota and filed a brief Monday, March 23 urging an appeals court handling the Texas lawsuit to continue a freeze on the president’s Nov. 20 executive order.
I guess Christie missed Whit Ayres’ book and advice all together. Instead, what he made was a big fat mistake that will ensure he gets absolutely nowhere in his farfetched hallucination of becoming president. His Monday morning mistake will cost him big time, especially with the many Latino voters he won over in 2013, as he sought a second term as governor. I bet the 51 percent of the state’s Latino voters are currently shaking their heads in disbelief. That is, if they can even get their heads up after being thrown so viciously under the bus.
Of course, Christie is downplaying his conservative move by not mentioning the filing of the brief on his “Ask the Governor” radio show, not talking about it at a town hall in Morris County, completely ignoring it in Stafford at the ribbon-cutting for a drug abuse rehabilitation facility and certainly staying mum at a political fundraiser in Philadelphia. But New Jerseyans, especially immigrant voters, cannot forget, just like immigrant voters across the country cannot forget the flip-flopping of the likes of Scott Walker, Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush.
Christie should pay dearly in 2016, and so should all Republicans for throwing immigrant voters under the bus, by stopping a plan that will help undocumented immigrants while doing nothing to solve the urgent need for immigration reform.
The writer is CMO of Hard Beat Communications, which owns the brands News Americas Now, CaribPR Wire and Invest Caribbean Now