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

Rep. Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarDomestic extremists return to the Capitol Republicans keep distance from 'Justice for J6' rally Washington ramps up security ahead of Sept. 18 rally 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 GohmertHouse passes bill to end crack and powder cocaine sentencing disparity Republicans keep distance from 'Justice for J6' rally Security forces under pressure to prevent repeat of Jan. 6 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 GrishamDemocrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms Hochul makes New York the 31st state to have had a female governor New Mexico indoor mask mandate returns with new vaccine requirements 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.