Texas Republican Rep. Louis Gohmert claimed some Islamic terrorists are trained to “act like Hispanic” and cross the Mexican border into the U.S.
The East Texas congressman appeared on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal on Wednesday.
“We know Al Qaeda has camps over with the drug cartels on the other side of the Mexican border,” Gohmert said. “We know people are being trained to come in and act like Hispanic when they’re radical Islamists. We know these things are happening. It’s just insane not to protect ourselves.”
His comments also compared the Boston Marathon attack to bombings in Israel, saying that the U.S. needs a barrier, presumably on the border with Mexico, that resumes the Israeli West Bank barrier.
"Finally the Israeli people said this is enough. They built, over 70 percent of it is a fence and the rest is a wall to prevent snipers from knocking off their kids. They finally stopped the domestic violence from people that wanted to destroy them. I am concerned we need to do that as well."
Gohmert and Iowa congressman Steve King are pushing to put immigration reform on hold, claiming national focus should now be on security.
The Hispanic Leadership Network (HLN), a conservative group focused on restoring opportunity to the Hispanic community, was outraged by the congressman’s statements.
“Rep. Louie Gohmert’s comments were unacceptable, offensive, and ignorant,” HLN executive director, Jennifer Korn, said in a statement. “Using a national tragedy to further his own anti-immigration reform agenda is not only shameful, but also a blatant attempt to disingenuously twist public sentiment at a vulnerable time. We must take a strong stand and making it clear this kind of intolerance has no place in the conservative movement.”
Sources: Politico, Dallas Observer