The extreme bill calls for all immigration to be halted for four years and for the southern border wall to be fully funded.
Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is pushing the public to "citizen co-sponsor" her extreme anti-immigrant bill, which has thus far received zero cosponsors in Congress, a mostly symbolic move that will have "little practical consequence," according to one expert.
Greene introduced the bill, the "Protect America First Act," on Friday. The legislation calls for a four-year moratorium on all immigration; full funding for and construction of the southern border wall; expedited removal of undocumented immigrants; revocation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects from deportation undocumented people brought to the United States as children; and a revival of Donald Trump's zero tolerance immigration policy, which led to thousands of children being separated from their families, among other harsh anti-immigrant measures.
In a tweet on Monday, the freshman congresswoman called for citizens to cosponsor the legislation, which has no congressional co-sponsors as of yet.
"My Protect America First Act will END @JoeBiden’s crisis at the border," she claimed. "Sign on as a Citizen Cosponsor today!"
Greene was referencing a popular refrain among Republicans, who have suggested the sudden swell of undocumented children detained at the southern border in recent weeks is proof Biden's policies, which mostly reversed draconian policies put in place under Donald Trump, are causing an aggressive uptick in immigration — something they claim constitutes a national crisis.
Greene herself was long-time a supporter of Trump's policies and has openly expressed xenophobia and racist beliefs about immigrants in the past. A 2020 CNN report noted that Greene in a social media post called for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to be impeached for "crimes of treason" which she said is "punishable by death" for the Democratic leader's support of undocumented immigrants and refusal to fund Trump's border wall. Her Facebook post appears to be have since been deleted.
One expert said it was unusual for legislation to have zero co-sponsors, attributing Greene's failure to garner support for her bill to its extreme proposals.
"These days, it's uncommon for bills to have zero co-sponsors. Most bills passed in the last several years have had a number of cosponsors, sometimes hundreds of them," Eladio Bobadilla, assistant professor of history at the University of Kentucky, said in an email. "I suspect the lack of cosponsors reflects the extremism of the bill."
Bobadilla said that it's not unheard of for lawmakers to seek citizen cosponsors, "but it's mostly a symbolic step with little practical consequence."
Greene's bill likely "has no realistic chance of being enacted," he added.
"Like so much surrounding Rep. Greene, this isn't about policy. It's about theatrics; it's about advancing xenophobic, racist, and hateful talking points; and about pandering to the most extreme impulses of the Republican Party," he said.
Since taking office, Greene — a racist and anti-LGBTQ conspiracy-monger, and a polarizing figure in her own party, with few backers but many colleagues unwilling to go on the record to criticize her — has introduced a number of go-nowhere bills.
On January 21, she filed articles of impeachment against President Joe Biden a day after he was inaugurated. Without evidence, the resolution accused him of "abuse of power by enabling bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors."
Zero members of Congress cosponsored the resolution. But upon its introduction, GOP leaders were silent about her efforts.
On Feb. 11, she introduced the Second Amendment Preservation Act to eliminate all federal funding for gun control enforcement. It would also strip funding for regulation and guidance the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms issued.
That bill had 14 cosponsors, including pro-gun Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and Madison Cawthorn (R-NC).
And on Feb. 18, Greene introduced the Gun Owner Privacy Act, which would prohibit the federal government from "collecting data to monitor and log gun ownership," her press release said. The bill had six cosponsors.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.