Who Needs Evidence? Congressman Pins Blame For Capitol Hill Burglaries On Undocumented Immigrants

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"Who Needs Evidence? Congressman Pins Blame For Capitol Hill Burglaries On Undocumented Immigrants"

Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA)

Police on Capitol Hill are investigating a slew of thefts from House Members’ offices. The burglaries take place at night and the perpetrators usually steal “personal mementos and Congressional memorabilia that could be sold online.” The police say they “continue to investigate the thefts,” but at least one Republican Congressman already has his culprit: undocumented immigrants. Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA) tells Roll Call that maintenance staff with questionable immigration statuses may be responsible for the burglaries:

Gallegly said he was told Monday that officials suspect the perpetrators are contractors on the maintenance or facilities teams who work in the Capitol after hours and who have keys to all the Members’ offices. Many of them, Gallegly continued, are not given background checks under the e-verify program, the workplace verification system that seeks to verify whether a job applicant is in the country legally.

“Is it possible people are working in the U.S. Capitol who have a key to my office, who have no legal rights to be here in the United States? Well, that’s possible,” Gallegly said. “That’s very unsettling.”

Law enforcement officials on Capitol Hill insist they are still on the case.

Gallegly says that “every desk drawer in his Washington office had been ransacked, with money stolen if there was any to take, along with anything bearing a Congressional logo or seal.” His collection of state licence plates was also taken.

The California congressman has a long record of voting against immigrants. In 1996, he attached an amendment to a bill that “would permit the states to deny unauthorized alien children free K-12 public education,” has voted to report undocumented immigrants who receive hospital treatment, and opposed deportation waivers that would have permitted parents to stay with their children.

Greg Noth contributed to this post.

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