President Donald Trump’s calls for unity during his State of the Union address, however disingenuous they may have been, apparently didn’t reach members of his own party, as one Republican lawmaker attempted to get "Dreamers" in attendance arrested by Capitol police.
Several Democratic lawmakers (plus at least one Republican) announced that they were inviting individuals who face possible deportation due to Trump ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program as their guests to the State of the Union.
Undocumented individuals who came to America as children, who are often referred to as “Dreamers,” are hoping that Congress can come up with a compromise solution by a March deadline, when they could be forced out of the United States.
These invites by lawmakers to young immigrants were lauded by many who support reasonable immigration reform. But Rep. Paul Gosar, a Republican Congressman from Arizona, wasn’t having it. He made a request to the Justice Department, as well as Capitol Police, to arrest individuals they suspected of being undocumented immigrants.
Gosar wasn’t shy about it, either, tweeting his request to his followers to make certain they knew where he stood on the issue.
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.— Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS (@RepGosar) January 30, 2018
But if his constituents were happy to know of his stance, Gosar’s actions were not appreciated by several members of his own party. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) made it clear through his spokeswoman AshLee Strong that he didn’t back the Arizona Republican’s request.
“The Speaker clearly does not agree,” Strong said.
Fellow Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a centrist from Florida, expressed her dismay on Twitter, writing that Gosar’s call for arrests was both “drastic and cruel.”
Oh my goodness, RepGosar. Dreamers don’t pose a threat to us. This is so drastic and cruel. Dios mío. https://t.co/PLKgvryhHW— Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (@RosLehtinen) January 30, 2018
Ros-Lehtinen is correct in her statement, and it reaches the crux of the matter. The goal of these young immigrants is to become American citizens because many of them have lived their entire lives here already acting as such. Empathy should be encouraged on the issue, and a solution that addresses their needs must be reached.
Gosar shows no empathy and demonstrates his contempt for the hundreds of thousands of DACA immigrants that contribute to society in positive ways. Thankfully, his opinion is the minority view in our nation. Unfortunately, his is a viewpoint that currently has too much clout in the halls of Congress.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters media express