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A Republican representative from Arizona contacted law enforcement in response to reports that Democrats planned to bring Dreamers, immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children, to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union.
"Rep. Paul Gosar asks Capitol Police to arrest illegal immigrants attending State of the Union," stated the Jan. 30 headline on USA Trainnews, a right-leaning website.
Facebook users flagged the post as being potentially fabricated, as part of the social network’s efforts to combat fake news. However, we found that the article correctly cites Gosar’s efforts to summon law enforcement to arrest Dreamers.
The fate of Dreamers, which played a role in the January federal government shutdown, appears uncertain. In September, Trump announced that he was ending Obama’s program that temporarily deferred deportation for certain illegal immigrants, prompting talks about how to come up with a permanent solution. A White House framework would offer a path to citizenship over 12 years in exchange for $25 billion for the border wall and other improvements, but members of both parties have raised objections.
Gosar, who was first elected to his Arizona district in 2010, received an A+ from NumbersUSA, a group that advocates for lower levels of immigration.
Gosar posted a few tweets from his U.S. House account at 1:33 p.m. Jan. 30, hours before Trump’s State of the Union address:
"Today, Congressman Paul Gosar contacted the U.S. Capitol Police, as well as Attorney General Jeff Sessions, asking they consider checking identification of all attending the State of the Union address and arresting any illegal aliens in attendance.
"Additionally, Congressman Gosar asked that they arrest those using fraudulent social security numbers and identification to pass through security.
"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’s tweet drew criticism from members on both sides of the aisle on twitter.
U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., fired back at Gosar:
"Oh my goodness, Rep. Gosar. Dreamers don't pose a threat to us,'' she tweeted. "This is so drastic and cruel. Dios mío."
A spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said that Ryan clearly does not agree" with Gosar's suggestion.
Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin tweeted: "How many Republican members of the House and Senate will condemn this attempt to punish Dreamers who were brought to this country as kids?"
Gosar’s chief of staff Tom Van Flein told PolitiFact that Gosar spoke on the phone with the Capitol Police chief, but he didn’t know how the police ultimately responded to Gosar’s request.
We sent an email and left messages for spokespersons for the Capitol Police and the Justice Department and did not get a reply.
USA Trainnews wrote that "Rep. Paul Gosar asks Capitol Police to arrest illegal immigrants attending State of the Union."
Gosar tweeted on Jan. 30 that he contacted police and Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking that they arrest any illegal immigrants attending the State of the Union.
We rate this claim True.
USA Trainnews, "Rep. Paul Gosar asks Capitol Police to arrest illegal immigrants attending State of the Union," Jan. 30, 2018
NumbersUSA, U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, Accessed Jan. 31, 2018
Washington Post The Fix blog, "Rep. Paul Gosar wants 'illegal aliens' arrested at the State of the Union. That probably won't help the GOP with Latinos," Jan. 30, 2018
Washington Post, "House GOP skeptical of Trump's framework on immigration - while some Democrats vent to Schumer," Jan. 30, 2018
Politico, "GOP lawmaker: Undocumented immigrants at State of the Union should be arrested," Jan. 30, 2018
U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Tweet, Jan. 30, 2018
PolitiFact, "Timeline: DACA, the Trump administration and a government shutdown," Jan. 22, 2018
Interview, Tom Van Flein, U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Arizona, chief of staff, Jan. 31, 2018
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