This is a new low, even for the Republicans. House Speaker Paul Ryan and his staff kicked Hispanic lawmakers out of an important immigration meeting at the Capitol this week.
Here’s the backstory: The Congressional Hispanic Caucus has been trying all week to gather information about the Trump administration’s ongoing attacks on immigrant communities. Trump’s immigration officials cancelled a special meeting last-minute and rescheduled it so they could pack the room with Republicans.
What happened next is truly shocking – Hispanic lawmakers were told they had to leave the meeting.
Now Hispanic leaders are fighting back – Rep. Luis Gutiérrez issued a hard-hitting response on Thursday with a clear message to Paul Ryan:
The new mass deportation executive orders are unprecedented, but so are the lengths to which the Speaker and Chairman Goodlatte are going to control the information being disseminated to Members of Congress. I expect such dictatorial shenanigans from the Trump Administration, but not from competent, compassionate legislators like Speaker Ryan or from legislators like Bob Goodlatte. Do they have ear pieces feeding them orders from President Bannon or the others making decisions in the White House?
Speaker Ryan is not an emperor and does not control who I meet with. My colleagues and I asked for this meeting and we still have not been given details by ICE about who they are deporting, why, and how. We simply have hit a stone wall and now Republicans in the House are cooperating in limiting the information that we can provide to our constituents.
The Republicans are making unprecedented assaults on democracy throughout their campaign against immigrants. Gutiérrez has been in public service for more than 20 years, and he says this is the first time he’s heard of the majority party trying to restrict the minority party’s meetings with government offices.
Video: Hispanic leaders met with journalists on Thursday to speak out against Donald Trump and Paul Ryan’s anti-immigration attacks: