Dem Congressmen Issues Threat to Immigration Officers- 'You Will Not be Safe'
The Democrats have about as much chance of abolishing ICE as they do of abolishing ice — as in, the solid form of water. That would be political suicide.
What about threatening ICE agents and other immigration officers, though? I mean, not just threatening them with the loss of their job or department — I mean literally threatening them. If you’re in a safe enough district and have no respect for yourself or others, why not?
Rep. Ruben Gallego is just such a person. He’s currently the congressman for Arizona’s 7th District, a comfortably Democrat parcel of that desert state where he carries about 135 percent of the vote most years. (Rough estimate.)
The district is centered in a part of Phoenix proper where Immigration and Customs Enforcement isn’t exactly the most popular entity there is. That’s why Rep. Gallego decided to do something very foolish.
His first mistake was retweeting MSNBC’s Chris Hayes. Hayes’ brand of TV journalism is so yellow you actually have to adjust the color balance on your television every time you watch his show. He doesn’t disappoint on Twitter, either:
Citizens having their papers demanded, then confiscated and then put in detention and ordered into deportation proceedings.
The historical resonances here are clear as bell. https://t.co/onnb1Uvf4T
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) August 29, 2018
The Washington Post story in question has to do with issuing passports to individuals whose documents the state feels are questionable. Here is what is buried several paragraphs deep in the Washington Post’s story: “The government alleges that from the 1950s through the 1990s, some midwives and physicians along the Texas-Mexico border provided U.S. birth certificates to babies who were actually born in Mexico. In a series of federal court cases in the 1990s, several birth attendants admitted to providing fraudulent documents.
“Based on those suspicions, the State Department during the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations denied passports to people who were delivered by midwives in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley. The use of midwives is a long-standing tradition in the region, in part because of the cost of hospital care.”
This did not find its way into Hayes’ tweet, for reasons which “are clear as bell.” Hayes also didn’t mention the White House’s statement, reported by Fox News, that the number of passport applications declined, for this reason, had actually gone down.
For reasons which are not “clear as bell,” Rep. Gallego thought this was an appropriate response to that tweet:
If you are a US government official and you are deporting Americans be warned. When the worm turns you will not be safe because you were just following orders. You do not have to take part in illegal acts ordered by this President's administration. https://t.co/BLq48HRkbH
— Ruben Gallego (@RubenGallego) August 30, 2018
Basically, in case you’re a Chris Hayes-watcher and didn’t get the subtext there, he’s comparing immigration and other government officials to Nazis and threatening them. Solid work there, Rep. Gallego.
Chris Crane, the president of the National ICE Council union, immediately denounced the remarks.
“It should be frightening to every American that a sitting member of Congress would threaten the safety of any person and their family, and incite the public to take acts of violence against them, let alone the lives of those whose job it is to protect us and keep us safe,” Crane said in a Thursday statement.
Gallego tried to clarify in a statement Thursday, which quite frankly didn’t make anything better.
“Government officials who violate the law or the constitution will not be immune to legal consequences,” Gallego said. “They will eventually be held accountable for their actions, even if the Trump administration is refusing to do so.”
Except they’re trying to enforce it in a difficult situation. Yes, this is not pleasant for anyone, but trying to say that they’re “just following orders” — with its ugly echoes of Dachau and Sobibór — is a sickening statement for any elected official to make. Veiled threats and baseless Nazi comparisons aren’t a good look on anyone. It’s especially ugly when it’s an elected official.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.