Rep. Haaland says Trump's 'go back' remarks 'perplexing and wrongheaded' to Native Americans

Rep. Deb HaalandDebra HaalandUS should oppose expansion of space launch center in Brazil Overnight Energy: Trump tweets he's revoking California's tailpipe waiver | Move comes as Trump visits state | California prepares for court fight | Climate activist Greta Thunberg urges lawmakers to listen to scientists Coalition of farmers and ranchers endorses Green New Deal MORE (D-N.M.) said President TrumpDonald John TrumpWHCA calls on Trump to denounce video depicting him shooting media outlets Video of fake Trump shooting members of media shown at his Miami resort: report Trump hits Fox News's Chris Wallace over Ukraine coverage MORE's tweet telling four progressive lawmakers to "go back" to the countries where they came from is "perplexing and wrongheaded" to Native Americans like herself.

Haaland, one of the first two Native American women elected to Congress, offered her thoughts in an op-ed Monday in The New York Times with the headline "Trump Wants Immigrants to 'Go Back.' Native Americans Don't."

In it, she noted that Trump himself is a second-generation American.

"My Pueblo ancestors, despite being targeted at every juncture — despite facing famine and drought — still inhabit this country today. But indigenous people aren’t asking anyone to go back to where they came from," she wrote.


Haaland emphasized Monday that the "president’s tweets and words matter."

"It’s on all of us to call out what is pure hate and racism and stand up for one another," she wrote.

"There is no moral high ground from which President Trump or any of his followers can tell anyone to leave this country, because they are not the first inhabitants of this land."

Haaland said that Trump claiming the country as his own "proves that he doesn’t understand his place."

"As a 35th generation New Mexican and a descendant of the original inhabitants of this continent, I say that the promise of our country is for everyone to find success, pursue happiness and live lives of equality. This is the Pueblo way. It’s the American way."

Trump touched off a controversy a week ago with his tweet targeting four first-year lawmakers — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezSanders wishes Ocasio-Cortez happy birthday Democrat launches primary challenge to Ocasio-Cortez Ocasio-Cortez fires back at Washington Times after story on her 'high-dollar hairdo' MORE (N.Y.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibTrump labels Tlaib 'a despicable human being' Tlaib says Democrats have discussed detaining White House officials who don't testify The 13 House Democrats who back Kavanaugh's impeachment MORE (Mich.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarNew California law bans school lunch debt shaming The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by USAA — Ex-Ukraine ambassador testifies Trump pushed for her ouster The Hill's Morning Report — Arrest of Giuliani associates triggers many questions MORE (D-Minn.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyPennsylvania candidate would be first autistic woman elected to a state legislature Pressley joins hundreds of activists calling for Kavanaugh impeachment: 'I believe in the power of us' The 13 House Democrats who back Kavanaugh's impeachment MORE (Mass.). All four members of the self-described Squad are minorities and U.S. citizens. Omar is the only one born in another country.

Trump has since reiterated the remarks several times, saying the four progressive women of color "hate America."

The House on Tuesday voted to condemn Trump's tweets as racist. Four GOP lawmakers, as well as Independent Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashAmash says he's happy not feeling 'bound to a particular party' Amash on Syria: Trump's not ending anything Trump says House Democrats 'unfortunately' have the votes to impeach MORE (Mich.), joined every Democrat in approving the resolution.