Politics

Montana Rep. Matt Rosendale Pushed Amnesty for Illegal Aliens in 2018

Montana Rep. Matt Rosendale (R) pushed for amnesty for illegal aliens in the past, opposing deportation despite his newfound attempt to characterize himself as a champion of border security.

When asked if the United States should deport all illegal immigrants, Rosendale said, “I don’t think it’s feasible to say that we’re going to Mexico to deport all of the illegal immigrants that are here right now.”

“And I think you have to actually break this out into a couple of categories,” he said, opposing deportation.

“Number one, the immigrants that were brought here, the illegal immigrants that were brought here that were minors, and were brought here without their own consent, or will we have to give them a path with which they can become citizens,” he said, pushing for amnesty.

The flashback comes as Rosendale pitches himself as a hardliner champion of border security, introducing legislation in January to secure the border. That legislation includes a reinstatement of the Remain in Mexico Act as well as the Mass Immigration Reduction Act, which would “create a moratorium on most types of immigration for 5 years.”

“Biden is destroying our country with his open border policies,” Rosendale said in a statement, touting his five immigration bills:

My immigration bills will set the proper mechanisms in place to shut down the border, give DHS [Department of Homeland Security] the tools to pursue criminals evading border check points, encourage American companies to hire American employees, protect taxpayer dollars by only counting only citizens in the census, and require those waiting on an immigration hearing to wait in Mexico.

He continued, emphasizing that his legislation “puts into statute the many successful policies that President Trump implemented, and will not only tackle the crisis head-on, but it will also reverse the reckless, crime encouraging, open-border policies of the Biden Administration.”

Despite now touting former President Donald Trump’s policies as a positive, Rosendale — one of the Republican lawmakers who voted to oust former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) — opted to wait to endorse Trump until December as rumors of a potential Senate bid continued to surface, suggesting that he only did so because it could be politically expedient for his possible bid.

If he chose to run, he would have to face off first with Republican businessman and retired Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy before getting to incumbent Democrat Sen. Jon Tester. The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) backs Sheehy, and he endorsed Trump in April 2023, even serving as a surrogate for Trump during the Iowa Caucus.

Perhaps most telling is the fact that Democrats are pushing Rosendale’s rumored Senate bid, running ads prompting his conservative “credentials.”

As Breitbart News reported:

Montana Democrats have reportedly spent $2.7 million to $3.3 million to promote the ads on Facebook since December. Treasure State Truths, a group that has links to a Democrat consulting firm, has produced the ads.

The ads state that “We can’t Tim Sheehy,” Rosendale’s likely primary opponent, while the ads on Rosendale appear to be less critical of Rosendale.

A Super Pac that seems linked to Democrats spent more than $5 million attacking Sheehy.

The New York Times observed that this is a tactic sometimes used by Democrats to promote the candidate that they believe will be easier to defeat.

NRSC Communications Director Mike Berg said, “Democrats are clearly reprising their cynical strategy of meddling in Republican primaries.”

In the broader conversation on illegal immigration, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) told his House colleagues in a Friday letter that the Senate immigration and Ukraine funding deal is “dead on arrival” in the House.

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