With House Republicans signaling immigration reform is dead this year, Colin Powell pointed to prejudice within the party against minorities as a reason the legislation is held up. His comments on Thursday echoed previous ones he made calling the party intolerant.
“There are certain elements of the party who go out of their way to demonize people who don’t look like the way they’d like them to look like or came from some other place,” the former secretary of state told MSNBC. “I think the party has to deal with this.”
He supported passing immigration reform “as quickly as we can” because “we are fueled” by new waves of immigrants, and because it would benefit the Republican party politically.
Despite still identifying as a Republican, Powell has been critical of the party in recent years and endorsed President Obama. Last year, he said the Republican party had a “vein of intolerance” for minorities and women. During a speech in North Carolina, he accused the state’s Republican governor and legislature of “sort of punishing” minorities by implementing voter-ID laws.