Breaking news: a Republican has said something crazy. It must be Thursday.
Today, we’re bringing you news from Alabama, where sitting U.S. Congressman Morris “Mo” Brooks (R-AL) is under fire for comments made to an Alabama television station, WHNT:
[Undocumented immigrants] have no right to be here. They are clogging up our emergency rooms and making our education system more expensive. There are far too many illegal aliens [in Huntsville county jail] because they have victimized Americans. As your congressman on the House floor, I will do anything short of shooting them. Anything that is lawful, it needs to be done.
Wow. What exactly would that include, Congressman? Beating immigrants? Torturing them?
I guess we should thank the Congressman for limiting himself to what’s legal. That’s more than what some of his fellow Republicans have done. Las April, Pat Bertroche, a physician running for Congress in Iowa, suggested that we should microchip undocumented immigrants so that we could better track them (not legal). That June, Tom Mullins, a Republican candidate for Congress in New Mexico, wanted to put down land mines so we could get immigrants at the border (not legal). This February, State Senator Scott Bearson—also from Alabama—wanted to “empty the clip [on immigration], and do what has to be done” (not legal). And in March, Kansas State Representative Virgil Peck compared immigrants to swine and suggested that we hunt them down from helicopters (not legal).
Of course, those were the statements of unelected candidates and representatives at the state level. Mo Brooks is a sitting U.S. Congressman.
Democrats and Republicans alike have been calling out Brooks’ extremism. From Rep. Charlie Gonzalez (D-TX), who heads the Congressional Hispanic Caucus:
Disagreements on policies can surely be expected, especially on a topic as important as immigration. But elected officials have a special responsibility to lead by example and not engage in destructive and hateful speech.