Rep. Paul Gosar said he requested that US Capitol Police arrest undocumented immigrants attending President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday.
The Arizona Republican, who is known as an immigration hardliner, tweeted his request that police “consider checking identification of all attending the State of the Union address and arresting any illegal aliens in attendance.”
He added they should “arrest those using fraudulent social security numbers and identification to pass through security.”
Trump's first State of the Union address
A considerable number of Democratic lawmakers are bringing undocumented immigrants to Trump’s State of the Union address amid the immigration debate that’s shaking out on Capitol Hill.
Despite Gosar’s request, most of the immigration-related invited guests to Trump’s State of the Union are protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which is set to expire in March.
In a statement from Gosar’s office, he added he also contacted Attorney General Jeff Sessions about his request.
“Of all the places where the Rule of Law needs to be enforced, it should be in the hallowed halls of Congress,” he said in a statement. “Any illegal aliens attempting to go through security, under any pretext of invitation or otherwise, should be arrested and deported.”
Neither Gosar’s office, nor US Capitol Police have responded to CNN’s request for additional comment.
House Speaker Paul Ryan’s spokeswoman AshLee Strong told CNN in a statement, “The speaker clearly does not agree” with Gosar.
And Sen. Jeff Flake, also an Arizona Republican, responded, “This is why we can’t have nice things…” to Gosar’s tweet.
Gosar responded to Flake also on Twitter: “This is why you got forced out of office,” referencing Flake’s announcement he would retire after this term.
CNN’s Lauren Fox and Tal Kopan contributed to this report.