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Not long after squaring off against Pa. Rep. Martina White in a Fox 29 debate over sanctuary cities last week, Rep. Brian Sims sent a fundraising message attacking her further.
"Finally," the message read, "I will continue to fight against Republicans like Martina White, who like Trump, wants to deport all of our hard working immigrant brothers and sisters and white wash America."
"All" immigrants? Has White ever suggested she wanted to deport every immigrant?
This is a quick fact-check. In short, White has not suggested this, something Sims spokesperson Dan Siegel acknowledged in a phone conversation, admitting that White had never said it. She hasn’t introduced or supported any legislation that would lead to the deportation of all immigrants, either.
White’s discussion of any policy involving immigration has mostly been limited to sanctuary cities. Last week, she reintroduced a bill that would strip hundreds of millions in state funding from Philadelphia if it continues to not fully cooperate with federal immigration officials as part of its sanctuary city status.
She emphasized in a statement responding to Sims’ fundraising message she supports legal immigration and has never suggested all immigrants be deported.
"I find it disgusting that Rep. Sims would try to raise money by blatantly lying about me and using such derogatory terms about a fellow legislator," she said. "The fact is that I fully support and welcome legal immigration, and - as a state Representative - I do not weigh in on federal government policy regarding undocumented immigrants presently in our country.
"My concern is rogue public officials who violate federal law to further their own agendas. Perhaps Rep. Sims should spend more time focusing on protecting the people of Philadelphia and upholding the law he took an oath to follow instead of lying and playing politics."
Siegel compared White to Trump, pointing out the similarities of her sanctuary cities bill and the president’s executive order threatening to slash federal funding from sanctuary cities.
"I think it’s fair to say that she views an America that is very homogeneous," Siegel said, "and I think her actions have shown that she doesn’t have a whole lot of respect for folks who have come to this country and tried to build a life here."
Rep. Brian Sims claimed in a fundraising message fellow state Rep. Martina White "wants to deport all of our hard working immigrant brothers and sisters and white wash America." White has never said anything like this or supported legislation that could lead to the deportation of all immigrants. A spokesperson for Sims acknowledged White had not said this, and White said she supported legal immigration.
This isn’t the first time Sims stretched the truth in a fundraising message. Last spring, while asking for donations, he claimed "right-wing extremists" were trying to take his seat, though no Republicans were running for his seat and his Democratic competitors were similarly progressive.
We rule the claim Pants On Fire.
Fundraising message from Brian Sims, March 31, 2017.
Phone interview, Dan Siegel, Brian Sims spokesperson.
Statement, Martina White.
Video, Fox 29 debate between Brian Sims and Martina White, March 29, 2017.
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