Why don’t Republicans care that the man who attacked Paul Pelosi was here illegally from Canada?
After years of anti-immigrant, “Build the Wall” rhetoric, we have seen one of the highest-profile examples of someone who was in the United States illegally committing an act of shocking violence. We learned this week that the man who took a hammer to the head of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s 82-year-old husband was undocumented, here on an expired temporary visitor visa, and radicalized online. And the attacker is part of one of the largest populations in the United States illegally: Canadians.
The Republican Party has used anti-immigrant rhetoric against Latinos and Hispanics for years, making sure it remains a potent topic for voters in the midterm elections. Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters has made so-called illegal immigration a centerpiece of his campaign but has been silent on the attack on Paul Pelosi. New Hampshire Senate candidate Don Bolduc, who wants to continue Title 42 public health restrictions at the southern border despite President Joe Biden declaring the pandemic over, did issue prayers to the Pelosi family saying “violence is never the answer.” But neither of them, nor any other political leader, is seizing on this crime committed by a supposed “illegal immigrant” to start deporting Canadians.
This is not a Blame Canada shtick. This is the reality: In the past 10 years, visa overstays in the United States outnumbered illegal border crossings by a 2:1 ratio. It’s a trend that’s been growing since 2004, with more than 600,000 people on average living illegally in the United States each year after their visas expired, according to the Department of Homeland Security. After former President Donald Trump’s first year in office, DHS released a report showing that the largest group of people who overstay their official welcome in the United States come from across the northern border.