An Arizona congressman took to Twitter today to announce he had contacted both the U.S. Capitol Police and Attorney General Jeff Sessions about checking the ID of everyone attending the State of the Union. Republican Rep. Paul Gosar asked them to consider "arresting any illegal aliens in attendance."
A number of House Democrats—and at least one Republican, Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo—plan to bring guests who have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) status. DACA recipients are a subset of the so-called "Dreamers," children brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents.
President Donald Trump has insisted that DACA recipients shouldn't worry about deportation, although they face that risk after March 5, when their status will expire, absent congressional or executive action.
Gosar's tweet yielded sharp rebukes from a couple of members of his own party:
This is why we can't have nice things… https://t.co/2vLHDFvFgq
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) January 30, 2018
Oh my goodness, RepGosar. Dreamers don't pose a threat to us. This is so drastic and cruel. Dios mío. https://t.co/PLKgvryhHW
— Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (@RosLehtinen) January 30, 2018
"Drastic and cruel" has long been the name of the game for the anti-immigrant faction of the GOP, which has been increasingly open about wanting to limit not just illegal immigration but the legal kind as well.
A lack of support from Speaker Paul Ryan makes it highly unlikely Gosar's suggestion will be taken up, even if it might interest Sessions. Congressional sources have told Fox News flat-out that they were "not going to do that."
A spokeswoman for Ryan says the speaker "clearly does not agree" with Gosar. She and Ryan ought to look around at the party they're in to judge how clear that disagreement actually is.