- A Republican Congressman said he asked Capitol Police to arrest and deport unauthorized immigrants attending Tuesday’s State of the Union address as guests.
- Many of the immigrants attending are already protected from deportation by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, but it’s possible some are not.
Rep. Paul Gosar, an Arizona Republican, said Tuesday he asked Capitol Police and the Attorney General to arrest and deport any unauthorized immigrants attending President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address.
A representative wrote on Gosar’s Twitter account that the congressman had asked the authorities to “consider checking identification” of all attendees and arrest anyone using fraudulent social security numbers and identification.
“Of all the places where the Rule of Law needs to be enforced, it should be in the hallowed halls of Congress,” Gosar said. “Any illegal aliens attempting to go through security, under any pretext of invitation or otherwise, should be arrested and deported.”
Dozens of Democrats and at least one Republican have invited young unauthorized immigrants, often called “Dreamers,” to the event as guests – a jab at Trump, who is terminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that protects them from deportation.
But it’s unclear whether Gosar’s threats have any weight.
The Dreamers attending the event likely still hold valid identification, social security numbers, and DACA protections that shield them from deportation for the time being.
It is possible that some Democrats may have invited unauthorized immigrants who are not DACA recipients, aides who helped organize the event told The Washington Post.
Beyond that, the Capitol Police has no authority to enforce federal immigration law. Capitol Police did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
Lawmakers quickly began condemning Gosar’s tweets Tuesday afternoon.
“What’s wrong with you?” Rep. Joe Crowley, a New York Democrat, said on Twitter.
“This is why we can’t have nice things…” Sen. Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican, added.