Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) originally promised that he would use his chairmanship of the House Judiciary Committee to focus on jobs. But the Texas conservative is so up in arms about the Obama administration’s recent decision not to automatically deport nonviolent undocumented immigrants that he is now committed to holding hearings on the subject.
Smith recently admitted to right-wing radio host Joe Pagliarulo that his goal in holding these hearings is nothing more than to “embarrass the president.” His nakedly partisan purpose has less to do with policy than trying to make the administration look bad “to get the American people on our side”:
SMITH: We can conduct hearings, oversight hearings, we can pull in administration officials, make them testify under oath, find out what’s going on, try to, frankly, embarrass the President and push back and get the American people on our side to push back against the administration. Secondly, the Appropriations Committee can defund any of these efforts, but unfortunately, on the appropriations level, you can only defund it one year at a time, so that’s not a long-term solution.
Smith then told Pagliarulo that the only long-term solution to ensure harsher treatment of undocumented immigrants is to elect a new president in 2012.