Republican lawmaker Paul Gosar (Ariz.) is calling for the arrests of young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children, often called “Dreamers,” who attend President Trump’s first State of the Union address Tuesday night, invited by Democratic lawmakers.
Several Democrats and one centrist GOP lawmaker, Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.), are bringing “Dreamers” as their guests to the State of the Union amid the debate in Congress over whether they should be allowed to stay in the country.
Many of the young immigrants who are guests to Tuesday night’s State of the Union are recipients of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which the Trump administration is rescinding.
Gosar said he asked the Capitol Police and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to consider checking the identifications of everyone attending the State of the Union and arrest any immigrants from the “so-called Dreamers” group.
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
Roughly 700,000 qualifying immigrants received temporary work permits through DACA. They are at risk of deportation on a rolling basis as their permits expire over time unless Congress acts on a permanent fix or if Trump were to reinstate the program.
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), a centrist Republican in support of granting a path to citizenship for Dreamers, blasted Gosar for his actions on Tuesday.
“Oh my goodness, RepGosar. Dreamers don’t pose a threat to us. This is so drastic and cruel. Dios mío,” Ros Lehtinen tweeted.
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
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is not endorsing Gosar’s call to arrest and deport the Dreamers in attendance, making it unlikely such a suggestion would go into effect.
“The Speaker clearly does not agree,” Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said in response to Gosar’s tweets.
The president is expected to address immigration at some point in his address Tuesday night. The White House last week unveiled an immigration framework that would grant nearly 2 million immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children a path to citizenship, in exchange for $25 billion to build Trump’s promised wall along the Mexican border.