Congressman’s call to deport children of illegals sparks firestorm
By Bob Ponting, FOX 5 San Diego
Comments made by East County Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) continue to create quite a firestorm of controversy.
“Would you support deportation of natural-born American citizens that are the children of illegal aliens,” Hunter was asked over the weekend at a “tea party” rally in Ramona, Calif. “I would have to, yes,” Hunter said. “… We simply cannot afford what we’re doing right now. We can’t afford it. California’s going under,” he said. “Â… We’re not being mean, we’re just saying it takes more than just walking across the border to become an American citizen.”
Talking to Fox 5 News by phone Wednesday, Hunter said his comments were misinterpreted.
“If you have parents that are here illegally, and they have a child, the parents that are here illegally are going to have to be sent home, so do you leave that child here without them? No. You probably send the child home with them even though the child is an American citizen,” he said.
Immigrations rights activists like Richard Griswold Del Castillo said Hunter’s comments were highly offensive.
“I think it’s sad that an elected official like Mr. Hunter is trying to appeal to a very fringe group for political reasons,” said Del Castillo, a volunteer with Border Angels.
Del Castillo said the decision about what to do with children after their parents are deported should be up to the families, not the government.
“He’s basically advocating violating the Constitution of the U.S. by deporting U.S. citizens,” said Del Castillo.
Hunter denied allegations that he was pandering to the tea party crowd.
“I’m not pandering to anybody,” he said. “I think we need to enforce our immigration laws.”
At the weekend tea party gathering, Hunter called illegal immigration a national security issue and said securing the country’s border was necessary before taking any other steps toward immigration reform.
“Secure the border for me. Prove that it is secure. Prove that nobody can cross it illegally. Then we’ll talk about the other stuff,” he told the appreciative gathering over the weekend.