Why Mississippi’s Rep. Bennie Thompson could check Trump’s immigration agenda


J. Scott Applewhite, Associated PressRep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., the ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, joins House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., right, at a news conference on Russian meddling in the U.S. election and other issues, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 29, 2017.
Rep. Bennie Thompson, Mississippi’s lone Democrat in Congress, is poised to become one of the most influential members of the U.S. House and a key player in House Democrats’ plan to serve as a check on President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.
Democrats’ regaining a majority in the House earlier this month helped cement Thompson’s clout. Thompson, currently the ranking member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, is likely to ascend to the chairmanship he previously held.
Thompson served as chairman of the committee between 2007 and 2011, when Democrats last held control of Congress. To put Thompson’s seniority into further perspective, he is one of just four Democrats who chaired a committee the last time the party held power and remains in office today.
As ranking member, Thompson has been a vocal critic of the Trump administration’s tack on immigration and other homeland security issues. As chairman, the role puts Thompson in a key position to look into how immigration policies are being carried out under Trump’s presidency.
Earlier this month, Thompson accused Trump of playing on fears of Central American migrants walking toward the U.S. border to motivate Republican voters.
“The President’s desperate attempts to militarize our southern border and tease out unconstitutional immigration policy are nothing more than political stunts and must be called out as such,” Thompson said in a press release. “A week before the midterm elections, it is clear President Trump wants nothing more than to change the narrative and incite hatred and fear in his political base.”
House Democrats aim to conduct hearings on some