Congressman Goes On Diatribe Against Migrant Children, Urges Texas To Unilaterally Declare War

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"Congressman Goes On Diatribe Against Migrant Children, Urges Texas To Unilaterally Declare War"

Unaccompanied children sleep in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility in Brownsville, Texas.

Unaccompanied children sleep in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility in Brownsville, Texas.

CREDIT: Eric Gay/ AP

During a speech on the House floor Friday, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) compared the surge of unaccompanied migrant children to soldiers invading France during World War II. Criticizing President Obama’s request for Congress to provide $3.7 billion in emergency funds to process the deportation proceedings of more than 52,000 children, mostly fleeing violence in Central America, Gohmert asked Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) to “use whatever means” like troops, ships of war, or taxes to “stop the invasion.”

“Even with $3.7 billion that’s requested, there’s no way for what’s being called for is going to stop the invasion that’s occurring,” Gohmert said. “That’s why I’m hoping that my governor will utilize Article 1, Section 10, that allows a state that is being invaded — in our case more than twice as many just in recent months, more than twice as many than invaded France on D-Day with a doubling of that coming en route, on their way here now under Article 1, Section 10, the state of Texas would appear to have the right, not only to use whatever means, whether it’s troops, even using ships of war, even exacting a tax on interstate commerce that wouldn’t normally be allowed to have or utilize, they’d be entitled in order to pay to stop the invasion.”

Article 1, Section 10 of the Constitution provides that “[n]o state shall, without the consent of Congress, . . . engage in war, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay.” The fact that this provision contemplates a state making “war,” however, strongly suggests that the framers were thinking about military invasions when they drafted it — not that they were concerned about an “invasion” of children.

Gohmert also suggested that the state of Texas should send National Guard to the border to secure the border, citing the time that President Woodrow Wilson sent General Pershing into Mexico to pursue Pancho Villa who had killed Americans. “I’m not advocating an invasion into Mexico,” he added. “I’m advocating strongly we stop the invasion into the United States.”

Most of the unaccompanied children who have been apprehended are under the age of ten. Evidence shows that violence, rather than any kind of immigration benefit is driving kids out of Latin America. These kids often come into the country with little more than the phone number of a distant relative in the United States.

Gohmert’s comments are consistent with other statements that he has recently made about these kids. He most recently claimed that the President wanted the emergency funds to bankrupt the country and “turn America blue.” He has also stated, “we don’t know what diseases they’re bringing in.”

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