Dangerous Bigoted Conspiracy Theories Should Not Dictate Impeachment Proceedings

Dangerous Bigoted Conspiracy Theories Should Not Dictate Impeachment Proceedings

February 05, 2024

This press release was originally posted on the America's Voice website

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The use of dangerous, white nationalist, and antisemitic replacement theory rhetoric has fueled the impeachment efforts against DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. These efforts have been baseless, extreme, and lack historical precedent.

The calls to impeach Secretary Mayorkas have been spearheaded by extreme members in the House who have repeatedly peddled anti-immigrant, conspiracy-driven rhetoric. We implore our elected leaders to give these actions thorough thought and consideration. This entire process has set a dangerous precedent, not just for the House but for society.

Our communities in El Paso, TX, Buffalo, NY, Pittsburgh, PA, and Poway, CA, among others, have suffered the dire consequences of these belief systems permeating our political and social sphere. Many, if not all, who have carried out these hate crimes and violent murders have echoed words from elected officials; driven by fearmongering about “replacement” and “invasion.”

Furthermore, these same narratives drive an increasingly mainstreamed election denial movement, who leverage “invasion” and “voter replacement” conspiracies to undermine public confidence in the validity of our elections.

Abusing this vital component of democratic checks and balances, in an attempt to exact political wins and peddle dangerous conspiracy theories, must not be normalized by any member in elected office.

We call on our leaders to rise above divisive tactics and engage in evidence-based discussions. Together, we can foster a political environment that values truth, transparency, and principles upon which our nation was built. It’s time to reject actions that endanger and divide our communities and instead unite for the common good, ensuring that our democracy thrives on inclusion and participation, not baseless conspiracies.

Lindsay Schubiner, Director of Programs, at Western States Center: “When this fear-mongering feeds the conspiratorial narratives of ‘replacement’ and ‘invasion’, it’s not just rhetoric – it’s a dangerous weapon that has led to countless, tragic consequences.”

Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block, Washington Director of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action: “The rhetoric around the House's move to impeach DHS Secretary Mayorkas is further proof that what we may have previously considered ‘fringe’ and hateful views are now fully in the mainstream of our political discourse. This includes the constant use of antisemitic and white supremacist rhetoric about 'great replacement,' which has directly inspired violence against Jews, immigrants, and communities of color. The normalization of this rhetoric should be clearly condemned by all who care about democracy and combating bigotry in our country.”

Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice: “The House Majority’s impeachment effort is an active threat to the nation’s public safety and democracy. They have used their power to normalize and amplify conspiracy theories steeped in white nationalism and antisemitism that have inspired multiple deadly acts of terrorism. If they were truly interested in public safety and confronting threats to ‘homeland security,’ these elected officials would be working to lower the temperature and to advance common sense solutions on immigration. They are not. Rather, they are pursuing a relentless political message that actively stokes a climate of fear, division, and danger.”

Nancy Treviño, Director of Power at Presente.org: "In the face of dangerous rhetoric from extremists in Congress, Latine and migrant communities uphold our core values of compassion and justice. The House Majority's attempt to impeach Secretary Mayorkas seeks to validate harmful and deceptive ‘invasion’ and ‘great replacement’ rhetoric. This sets a perilous precedent, endangering migrant lives and undermining the principles that should guide our nation. We are united against hate, advocating for a society built on empathy, inclusion, and respect for human rights.”

Katherine Hawkins, Senior Legal Analyst for the Project On Government Oversight: “Migration is not an invasion, though there is a long and ugly history of describing it that way. The U.S. was not being invaded at Ellis Island, nor during the migration from China and Japan to California in the 19th century, nor today at the U.S.-Mexico border. Describing migration that way is not only false, but invites extremists to commit murder, and governments to trap people in concertina wire, let them drown, or let them die in the desert. And when government officials use demagogic claims of “replacement,” “invasion,” and “poisoning the blood of Americans” against migrants, people get killed—as they have in Pittsburgh, El Paso, Buffalo, and Poway, California." Assuming you want to use a name.

Amy Spitalnick, CEO of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs: “This impeachment effort is nothing more than an attempt to score cheap political points while further normalizing dangerous white supremacist, antisemitic conspiracy theories and undermining our democratic institutions. Dehumanizing anti-immigrant rhetoric is hardly a new tactic – we’ve seen this ‘invasion’ and ‘replacement’ language fuel a cycle of deadly violence, from Charlottesville, to Pittsburgh, to Poway, El Paso, Buffalo, and beyond. The path toward our collective safety isn’t a cynical impeachment ploy; it’s the unequivocal rejection of these bigoted, divisive, and dangerous conspiracy theories.”

Robert Heyman, Assistant Director of Policy and Government for Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center in El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua: "Letting a politics of fear and xenophobia guide how we make decisions about border policy is foolish whether it is the U.S. Senate deciding to embrace unworkable crackdowns on families seeking safety, or the House pursuing impeachment against Secretary Mayorkas on a basis completely detached from reality. Such naivety will never lead us to an orderly, safe, and humane border and will only fail the American people. There is another problem, though, as we see this politics of fear going from being stupid to inflammatory--dehumanizing innocent families in ways that open them up to violence and death, undermining communities with conspiracies, making hatred the currency of the day, and blinding us to our own bad behavior. As President Roosevelt warned so presciently 90 years ago, 'we have nothing to fear but fear itself.' Let us hope this country will still heed that message."

Erin E. Wilson, Senior Director, Extremism & Human Rights at Human Rights First: “Let’s call these proceedings what they are – an opportunity for extremists to normalize antisemitic and conspiratorial white supremacist bigotry. The ongoing mainstreaming of extremist rhetoric by this Congress -- that so often targets migrants and people seeking asylum – has deadly consequences and endangers the safety of all our communities and the strength of our democracy.”