Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) said that Democratic leaders in Congress have “American blood” on their hands by not providing funding for a proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
President Trump has requested $5 billion in funding for the wall — which he has called integral for border security — prompting a partial government shutdown that began Dec. 22. The president has continued to push for the wall, tweeting Monday morning that the border has long been an “‘Open Wound’ where drugs, criminals (including human traffickers) and illegals” could enter the United States.
In an interview with WAAY Tv, Brooks, a representative for Alabama’s 5th Congressional District, took Trump’s sentiment a step further. He specifically blamed presumptive House speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) for the deaths of “thousands” of Americans each year because of illegal immigrants. He did not offer facts or statistics to support his claim.
“It’s a very tough position that the Democrats have put us in. One the one hand, you’ve got thousands of Americans who are dead each year because the Democrats’ refusal to secure our borders. Those Americans are dying either because they’ve been murdered by illegal aliens, vehicular homicides by illegal aliens, or the illegal narcotics that are shipped into our country by illegal aliens and their drug cartels with the drug overdoses that are in the tens of thousands of lost American lives per year.”
“The question’s going to be, how much American blood do you have to have on the hands of Democrat leaders like Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer before they will help us with border security? Or is their craving for power such that they’re willing to accept the loss of American life.”
Mo Brooks (R-Ala.)
A call to Brooks’s office was not returned Monday afternoon, and a recording indicated its voice mail box was full. An email sent to his spokesman requesting more information on Brooks’s claims was not immediately returned.
In June, The Washington Post’s Philip Bump reported that data shows immigrants — including those who enter the country illegally — commit crimes at lower rates than native-born Americans. Trump has rejected that idea.
The full context of the question that sparked Brooks’s response wasn’t immediately clear. In December, Schumer and Pelosi met with Trump in an Oval Office meeting, where Trump said a wall “totally solves the problem” of border security.
“Yes, we need border security. The wall is a part of border security. You can’t have very border security without the wall,” Trump said during the meeting.
Last week, California authorities announced the arrest of a suspect and seven others in connection with the shooting death of a California police officer, Ronil Singh. The man charged with shooting Singh, Gustavo Perez Arriaga, had entered the United States illegally, police say, adding fuel to debates about sanctuary laws and immigration.
Trump tweeted about the case amid authorities’ full-scale manhunt for Perez Arriaga, writing: “There is right now a full scale manhunt going on in California for an illegal immigrant accused of shooting and killing a police officer during a traffic stop. Time to get tough on Border Security. Build the Wall!”