Human Rights First Denounces Extremism in Congressional Hearings

WASHINGTON, DC – After three Congressional hearings in three weeks where Members of Congress deliberately spread anti-immigrant and antisemitic sentiment, disinformation, and conspiracy theories — most recently at yesterday’s House Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations and Subcommittee on Health — Human Rights First denounced Members’ use of discriminatory rhetoric under the pretenses of immigration reform.

“Racism and anti-democratic extremism should have no place in Congress,” said Human Rights First Executive Vice President Kareem Shora. “They lead to discriminatory policy and encourage violence. Members truly interested in reforming our immigration system should stop spewing hate and fear because Federal law and international treaties are clear: migrants have the legal right to seek asylum.”

Members of the House Judiciary Committee and the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability have records of spreading extremist content:

“Extremist rhetoric targeting immigrants is a hallmark of the anti-democratic far right,” said Human Rights First Senior Researcher on Antisemitism, Dr. Liz Yates. “This increasingly common language has deadly implications, having inspired terrorist attacks across the country, including Buffalo and El Paso.”

Human Rights First submitted statements for the record denouncing the hearing’s mainstreaming of extremist rhetoric and outlining a path to protect the rights of asylum seekers on the southern border.

  • On February 7, 2023, Human Rights First submitted a Statement for the Record ahead of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability hearing “On the Front Lines of the Border Crisis: A Hearing with Chief Patrol Agents.”
  • On February 1, 2023, Human Rights First submitted a Statement for the Record ahead of the House Judiciary Committee hearing “Biden’s Border Crisis – Part One.”

Human Rights First has repeatedly warned that hateful rhetoric leads to increased violence and threatens our democracy:


Published on February 16, 2023


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