U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-TX, has responded to the reports about President Donald Trump’s comments about African countries.
During an Oval Office meeting on Thursday, Trump reportedly questioned why the U.S. would accept immigrants from Haiti and "(expletive) countries" in Africa as he rejected a bipartisan immigration bill, according to the Associated Press.
Trump on Friday denied using certain "language" but did not deny using a certain expletive to describe African countries, according to the AP.
Gohmert, who represents most of East Texas in Congress, defended Trump in part and spoke against undocumented immigrants during a Thursday night appearance on Fox News.
“I’m not going to defend his language, but I will defend his frustration,” Gohmert said on the show. “I mean here, we’ve got here, the only people they want to talk about being 'Dreamers' are people who came to the country illegally. People picture young, precious little people, and a lot of them are middle-aged.”
The term “Dreamer” often refers to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States by their parents illegally as children. The term comes from the original name for a bill to provide them a path for citizenship, the DREAM Act. The acronym DREAM originally stood for “development, relief, and education for alien minors.”
Gohmert continued: “We’re seeing statistics that a huge percentage don’t speak English even though they’re getting free education and all kinds of free things, and we’ve got these same people who are pushing to keep (gang members) here even more than they are to help make sure that our dreamers who were born here in America have that chance for a future.
“It is so frustrating, and every time—every time—anyone in Washington talks about legalization of anyone here illegally, the Border Patrol says they get these surges, and they’ve been getting them since August,” he said. "And so it is a frustrating time."
Gohmert said the economy should be taking off after the "great tax bill we got done and yet when you keep overwhelming America with people coming in illegally it is difficult to get things done."
In September, Trump announced he would suspend a program inspired by the DREAM Act called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. That program protects about 800,000 undocumented immigrants who came here as children from deportation and allows them to work, but does not give them citizenship. The issue is now tied up in litigation in federal courts.
However, Gohmert questioned whether people receiving DACA protection are telling the truth. “Many of them say they were brought here as kids and they weren’t,” he said.
Earlier this week, activists delivered a petition with more than 6,000 constituent signatures to Gohmert's offices supporting the DREAM Act, but Gohmert questioned the veracity of the signatures.
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