Republican Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona has a message for any undocumented young immigrants who took up invitations from Florida Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, Carlos Curbelo, R-Miami, and other congressional representatives to attend President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address Tuesday night:
Come, and risk arrest.
In a tweet on Gosar’s Twitter page, he said he contacted the Capitol Police and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to “consider checking the identification of all attending the State of the Union address and arresting any illegal aliens in attendance,” The Hill reported Tuesday.
Wasserman Schultz took to Twitter to tout Nicolas Perez, her guest, who is a South Florida small-business owner and a DREAMer. “When Trump looks into the crowd tomorrow night, I hope he thinks about people like Nicolas who came here through no fault of their own and contribute so much to our community.”
Curbelo responded to Gosar’s tweet late Tuesday afternoon. “Today’s Politically Intoxicated Person Award goes to my colleague for this stupid stunt. This notion is so tired & old, it fails to generate the shock value it seeks. I’m proud to have Adrian Escarate as my #SOTU guest — a young immigrant who arrived in US @ age 3.”
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami, fired back Tuesday at Gosar:
“Oh my goodness, Rep. Gosar. Dreamers don’t pose a threat to us,’’ she tweeted. “This is so drastic and cruel. Dios mío.”
The fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA, is one of the major pieces of unfinished legislation hanging over the Trump administration and the Republican Congress. Last fall, Trump announced an end to the Obama-era program, but delayed implementing deporting the nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants, who call themselves DREAMers and who came to the United States as children with their families. Congress and Trump have been trying to forge a plan before the March deportation deadline, athough there are major disagreements between the Republicans and Democrats on how to resolve the issue. The federal government was even shut down earlier this month as lawmakers wrangled over this issue, among other things.
In addition to the two students invited by Curbelo and Wasserman Schultz, two dozen DREAMers have been invited by other members of Congress, Vox reported. These include guests of House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Arizona, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and Sen. Cory Booker, D-New Jersey.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, doesn’t endorse Gosar’s call to arrest and deport DREAMers.
“The Speaker clearly does not agree,” Ryan’s spokeswoman AshLee Strong said in response to Gosar’s tweet, The Hill reported.
Miami Herald reporter Alex Daugherty contributed to this story.