Hispanic Dems seek vote to condemn GOP lawmaker for demanding arrests of ‘Dreamers’
The leader of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Monday sought a House vote to formally condemn Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) for urging the Capitol Police to arrest immigrants without legal status who were guests of lawmakers at last week’s State of the Union address.
Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.), the caucus chairwoman, offered a resolution on the floor that condemns Gosar for “inappropriate actions that intimidated State of the Union guests and discredited the U.S. House of Representatives.”
The resolution states that Gosar “abused his power in an attempt to interfere with and politicize the U.S. Capitol Police’s efforts to provide for a safe, secure, and open environment during the State of the Union” and violated rules requiring all members to behave in a manner reflecting “creditably” on the House.
Gosar called on the Capitol Police to check the identification of people attending the State of the Union last Tuesday and arrest anyone residing in the U.S. without documentation.
Scores of Democrats had invited young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children, often referred to as “Dreamers.”
“Of all the places where the Rule of Law needs to be enforced, it should be in the hallowed halls of Congress. Any illegal aliens attempting to go through security, under any pretext of invitation or otherwise, should be arrested and deported,” Gosar wrote in a series of tweets.
Under House rules, any member can bring up a “privileged” resolution raising questions regarding the dignity and integrity of chamber proceedings. Lujan Grisham used that process for her resolution to condemn Gosar, which must, under House procedures, receive legislative action within two days.
It’s likely that GOP leaders would move to table the resolution, but the Congressional Hispanic Caucus would still be able to force a procedural vote.
Many lawmakers, including centrist Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo (Fla.), had invited recipients of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which granted qualifying immigrants temporary work permits.
DACA recipients with valid permits would not have been at risk of arrest.
The Trump administration is phasing out DACA, but lawmakers are struggling to negotiate a deal to allow the program’s recipients to stay in the country in exchange for border security measures.
It’s not the first time a member of the House minority has called out the behavior of a lawmaker in the majority party.
In 2014, Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), then the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, offered a privileged resolution to condemn then-House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) for shutting down a hearing without letting any Democrats speak.
Issa had cut off the microphone of the Oversight Committee’s ranking Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), a Black Caucus member.
The House ultimately voted to table Fudge’s resolution.
Democrats blasted Gosar last week for his actions, as did with two Republicans who have centrist views on immigration policy.
“Oh my goodness, RepGosar. Dreamers don’t pose a threat to us. This is so drastic and cruel. Dios mío,” Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) tweeted.
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) wrote: “This is why we can’t have nice things…”
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) offered milder pushback, with a spokeswoman saying that “the Speaker clearly does not agree.”