GOP rep introduces bill marking Cesar Chavez's birthday as 'National Border Control Day'

Rep. Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarRepublicans offer 'free market alternative' to paid family leave GOP lawmaker attacks critic as 'a little bitch' on Twitter Overnight Defense: NATO chief urges US to support alliance on its 70th anniversary | Turkey rebuffs Pentagon pressure over Russia deal | Rand Paul, liberals team up to push Trump on Syria withdrawal MORE (R-Ariz.), a hard-liner on immigration in Congress, introduced legislation Thursday marking labor and civil rights icon Cesar Chavez’s birthday as “National Border Control Day.”

The bill, submitted to the House Education and Labor Committee, would cast the designation for March 31, which would have been Chavez’s 92nd birthday.

The bill comes as Republicans and Democrats find themselves polarized regarding immigration and are debating whether the government should work to curb immigration or grant legal status to undocumented migrants.

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“Cesar Chavez’s lifelong work to protect American workers should be echoed and celebrated throughout America,” Gosar said in a statement Friday. “As open border Democrats continue to advocate against securing our southern border, it is critical to remember the damage illegal immigration does to legal American workers.” 

Chavez founded the National Farm Workers Association, later called United Farm Workers (UFW), in 1962, a union that organized California’s mostly Hispanic agricultural workers against abuses by their employers. He supported restricting immigrant labor and was a proponent of stricter border controls to prevent workers from being brought in from Mexico to break UFW strikes.

Chavez also called for improvements to working conditions in Mexico as a means of reducing incentives for laborers to cross into the U.S.

Rep. Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertHillicon Valley: Facebook, Google face tough questions on white nationalism | Nielsen's exit raisers cyber worries | McConnell calls net neutrality bill 'dead on arrival' | Facebook changes terms for EU data Republicans offer 'free market alternative' to paid family leave YouTube shuts down comments on House hearing on white nationalism over hateful remarks MORE (R-Texas) introduced similar legislation last year, drawing the ire of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC).

“For Rep. Gohmert to twist and warp the legacy of César Chávez is offensive, shameful and beyond the pale of normal logic,” then-Rep. Michelle Lujan GrishamMichelle Lynn Lujan GrishamNew Mexico senators request probe into militia group detaining migrants Militia group in New Mexico draws scrutiny for detaining migrants at border New Mexico gov signs bill granting electoral votes to national popular vote winner MORE (D-N.M.), the chair of the caucus at the time, said. 

“Congressman Gohmert has done everything he can to attack the true legacy of César Chávez to weaken unions, undermine labor protections for workers, and derail immigration reform efforts that honor the dignity and contributions of workers and their families.” 

The CHC did not respond to a request for comment from The Hill regarding Gosar’s new bill.