Under fire from the White House, Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego of Arizona called President Donald Trump’s approach to the border “stupid” and accused him of deploying the National Guard as a “political ploy.”
“I will gladly work with the President when his ideas aren’t stupid and detrimental to the United States,” Gallego said on CNN’s “Newsroom” Thursday. “Unfortunately, this is what this plan is. It was not planned out.”
Gallego’s comments came a day after White House press secretary Sarah Sanders railed against him as being uncooperative with Trump on border security and immigration.
“If that congressman is so concerned, maybe he ought to show up and actually support legislation that would fix these problems,” Sanders said Wednesday. “Instead of blaming the President, who is actually trying to do something about it, we’d like to see him work with us in partnership and actually do something instead of just complain about it.”
Trump on Wednesday signed a memorandum to deploy the National Guard to the US-Mexico border.
In the interview Thursday, Gallego said the Trump administration is pulling members of the National Guard out of their private lives and deploying them to the border to “try to solve a political problem” and throw “red meat” to the President’s base.
“These National Guardsmen aren’t even going to have arresting power,” Gallego said. “They’re not even going to be able to hold weapons, but we’re going to put them out in the desert and basically make them stand around just for, you know, political show so these politicians can say they’re doing something.”
Gallego also rebuked the administration for not coming to an agreement with congressional Democrats on immigration.
Trump has continued to rail against Democrats on border security and immigration, recently declaring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – a program to shield some undocumented immigrants from deportation that his administration announced it would end – ” probably dead” after a lack of progress on legislation.