- Republican Rep. Paul Gosar called on police to arrest undocumented immigrants attending the State of the Union who are guests of Democratic members.
- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called it anti-Christian and “so outside the circle of respectable behaviour for a member of Congress.”
WASHINGTON — Democrats condemned Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar, a Republican, for calling on the attorney general and Capitol Police officers to arrest any undocumented immigrants attending President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address Tuesday night.
“Today, Congressman Paul Gosar contacted the U.S. Capitol Police, as well as Attorney General Jeff Sessions, asking they consider checking identification of all attending the State of the Union address and arresting any illegal aliens in attendance,” Gosar’s office wrote on its official Twitter account.
House Minority Nancy Pelosi responded by calling it anti-Christian, telling Business Insider that Gosar is ” so outside the circle of respectable behavior for a member of Congress that it’s hard to comment on it.”
“But a lot of our colleagues are people of faith and profess to believe that all of us have a spark of divinity in us — that we’re all children of God,” Pelosi said. “And for him to make such a statement really dishonors the God who made us.”
Rep. Michele Lujan Grisham, who chairs the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, called Gosar’s comments “a terrible, negative, dangerous, hateful, political stunt.”
“I think it’s unconstitutional,” Lujan Grisham added. “If we’re gonna have Jeff Sessions doing anything, we ought to talk about members who are preventing members like me from doing my job. I have the right to invite anyone — particularly on policy that we’re working on. That is a constitutionally protected activity specifically for members of Congress.”
California Rep. Judy Chu called it an attempt to “advance their nativist, xenophobic agenda.”
“I think it’s a shame that we have members of Congress here who would take this type of action against young Americans who know no other country than the United States of America,” said Rep. Ruben Kihuen, the first undocumented immigrant to become a member of Congress after gaining citizenship.
“So I would suggest to the congressman that he have compassion and empathy and have him sit down with a Dreamer and listen to that Dreamer’s story. Because they are as American as anyone else.”
A handful of Republicans immediately condemned Gosar’s comments as well, including Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
“Oh my goodness, RepGosar. Dreamers don’t pose a threat to us,” she wrote on Twitter. “This is so drastic and cruel. Dios mío.”