FNL Exclusive: Rangel Critcizes GOP Hardline Stance Toward Immigration

For part one of the Fox News Latino exclusive interview with Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) click play above.  Come back Monday for part two of the interview as Rep. Rangel talks about his primary election race, President Obama and more.

New York Congressman Charles Rangel criticized the harsh tones of the Republican Party toward the country’s immigration issue.

Speaking to Fox News Latino’s Juan Williams Thursday in the Capitol Rotunda, Rangel said that Republicans seem to select leaders who don’t choose moral issues.

“It’s amazing I watch the Republican presidential debate and every moral issue you can think of, the more you’re against supporting it the closer you can be to getting the Republican nomination,” Rangel said.

Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, has faced harsh criticism from his GOP rivals and from President Barack Obama on his stance toward immigration.

The former Massachusetts governor this week made a push to gain some much needed Latino votes by announcing his campaign’s Latino Steering Committee, releasing a web ad aimed at Latinos and making stops in the heavily-Latino state of Texas.

Romney’s effort is meant to soften his image to the general public after he in the past denounced the DREAM Act, suggested undocumented immigrants “self-deport” and attacked rivals for what he viewed as soft stances on immigration.

According to a recent poll conducted by the Wall Street Journal and other news organizations, 61 percent of Latinos support President Obama, while only 27 percent support Romney. Obama also has a higher approval rating among Latinos than he does among all Americans.

Besides his criticism of the Republican Party, Rangel also had pointed words about the Roman Catholic Church’s role in the immigration debate. The Congressman said that he respected the Church for speaking out about its own rights and for its stance on same sex marriage, but that there are other issues that the Church should also voice its opinions on.

“The fact that you can call someone illegal when it’s a human being there, who has the same problem as another human being. And you’re not prepared to say there’s some moral issue there,” Rangel said.

Rangel is the representative for New York’s for New York's 15th congressional district, serving since 1971. The district encompasses much of upper Manhattan including the heavily Dominican neighborhoods of Washington Heights and Spanish Harlem.

The Congressman is hosting an event next Monday in New York to help undocumented immigrants find information about becoming citizens.

“We bring in people to help them, one to make them feel more secure to know that just not having papers is not the end of the world,” Rangel said.

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Produced by Victor Garcia. Follow him on Twitter at @MrVicGarcia

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