Arizona Politician Mistakes YMCA Campers For Undocumented Children

CREDIT: Matt York/ AP

Republican congressional candidate Adam Kwasman

Republican candidate Adam Kwasman in the midst of putting his pride on the shelf.

Republican candidate Adam Kwasman in the midst of putting his pride on the shelf.

CREDIT: Politwoops screenshot

An Arizona politician mistook a school bus carrying YMCA campers for undocumented immigrants during a protest against the expected arrival of migrant children in Oracle, Arizona on Tuesday.

When a yellow school bus pulled up within sight of the anti-immigrant protesters, Republican congressional candidate and Arizona State Rep. Adam Kwasman leapt towards the bus, writing in a now-deleted tweet with a picture of a school bus, “Bus coming in. This is not compassion. This is the abrogation of the rule of law.”

“I was actually able to see some of the children in the buses,” Kwasman told Brahm Resnik, an Arizona-based reporter in a video interview. “The fear on their faces…. This is not compassion.” Watch it:

Resnik pointed out that the bus was actually carrying YMCA kids and not “migrants,” prompting Kwasman to backpedal his statement and state that “those children were sad too.” Kwasman later tweet, “Last tweet not the bus of illegal immigrant children. Thank God.” Brahm reported that another Arizona reporter saw that the YMCA campers were laughing and taking pictures of the protesters.

The federal government has been struggling to accommodate more than 57,000 unaccompanied children apprehended at the border this fiscal year. Because current facilities can only hold 6,000 to 8,000 migrants, federal officials are still finding suitable places across the country to hold the children. But federal plans has hit a few snags, like anti-immigrant protesters who formed a human wall to block buses from entering a processing facility and others who spray-painted graffiti on the site of a proposed facility. A Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) spokesperson told Resnik that there weren’t “plans for unaccompanied children to travel to Oracle today.”

Citizen push back against housing Central American children fleeing violence in their local communities was also present in Vassar, Michigan Tuesday where protesters marched through town, some carrying with AR-15 guns.

Kwasman’s critical attitude of undocumented immigrants is not an isolated incident. During a radio interview with the Jon Justice Show in June, he advocated arresting undocumented immigrants. “Those of us who are either seeking the congressional seat or in Congress right now have to hold these people accountable,” Kwasman said. “[We have to] start openly talking about arresting people, holding, charging them with crimes when they are not following the law.”