Republican Congressman Paul Gosar of Arizona is calling for any undocumented immigrant attending President Trump’s State of the Union speech on Tuesday to be arrested and deported.
Gosar’s official Twitter account wrote that the lawmaker had asked Capitol Police and the Department of Justice to check identifications and arrest and deport anyone who is in the country illegally.
Twenty-five undocumented immigrants are slated to attend the State of the Union at the invitation of Democrats, according to advocacy group FWD.us spokesman Peter Boogaard. Other lawmakers will host family members of immigrants who have been deported.
“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,” his official account tweeted.
“Of all the places where the Rule of Law needs to be enforced, it should be in the hallowed halls of Congress,” he added. “Any illegal aliens attempting to go through security, under any pretext of invitation or otherwise, should be arrested and deported.”
The Department of Justice declined to comment on Gosar. Capitol Police did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
However, the response to Gosar’s statement on Twitter from the left was swift.
Rep. Joe Crowley, a Democrat from New York, tweeted, “What’s wrong with you?”
Democratic Rep. Mark Takano of California said, “The State of our Union is heartless and cruel.”
Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona tweeted, “This is why we can’t have nice things…”
Gosar’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But just yesterday, he misstated contested statistics about people covered by President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program on his official Facebook page.
Gosar opposes measures that would legalize undocumented immigrants in the US and wants to restrict certain types of legal immigration. His account’s pinned tweet is a picture of himself with the remark “No amnesty — period.”
DACA protects about 800,000 people who were brought illegally to the US as children from deportation.
Trump announced plans to end DACA on March 5 unless Congress can agree on a legislative replacement. However, a breakdown in negotiations between Democrats and Republicans led to a brief government shutdown.