Inflammatory words over immigration led to a heated back-and-forth this week between a New Mexico Congresswoman and an Arizona Congressman.
It began after Democratic New Mexico U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham brought Dalia Medina, a woman who immigrated to the U.S. with her parents from Mexico as a child, as her guest to the State of the Union last week.
Republican U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar from Arizona called for U.S. Capitol police to check immigration statuses of Lujan Grisham’s and others’, guests and possibly arrest them.
Even those in his own party weren’t on board with the call for arrests. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, distanced himself from the proposal in the hours before the State of the Union.
Lujan Grisham fired back with a resolution aimed at condemning Gosar for his “inappropriate actions that intimidated State of the Union guests and discredited the U.S. House of Representatives.”
Lujan Grisham is the chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and, as such, has been a visible part of the immigration debate.
The resolution was tabled, but the back and forth continued.
Gosar in turn took to Twitter and released a statement condemning Lujan Grisham and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus for infringing on his freedom of speech.
Lujan Grisham’s Director of Communications told NM Political Report Gosar was wrong.
“No, she’s not condemning his free speech, just his racist stereotyping,” spokesman Ron Eckstein said.
Lujan Grisham was just one of many Democrats to bring an undocumented immigrant to Donald Trump’s first State of the Union as a guest. U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich also brought a DACA recipient, Ivonne Orozco-Acosta. She was also named the 2018 Teacher of the Year.
Gosar himself is no stranger to controversy. This week alone, he called for prosecution of Department of Justice and FBI officials over the controversial, and largely anticlimactic, memo from Rep. Devin Nunes, R-California.
And last year, seven of Gosar’s siblings published a letter to the editor in the Kingman Daily Miner condemning his conspiracy theories over the Charlottesville, Virginia violence where white supremacists rallied and clashed with counterprotesters. One of those counterprotesters was killed when a car drove into the crowd.