Rep. Paul Gosar has asked the Capitol Police and the Department of Justice to “consider checking identification” of everyone attending President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address and “arresting any illegal aliens in attendance,” the Arizona Republican announced Tuesday on Twitter.
The move is presumably aimed at so-called Dreamers who will be in attendance.
At least 27 lawmakers have invited young immigrants protected by the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program that ends March 5.
Dreamers, who were brought illegally to the U.S. as children, are legally protected from arrest and deportation under DACA.
Today, Congressman Paul Gosar contacted the U.S. Capitol Police, as well as Attorney General Jeff Sessions, asking they consider checking identification of all attending the State of the Union address and arresting any illegal aliens in attendance.— Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS (@RepGosar) January 30, 2018
The Capitol Police has not indicated whether it will follow through on Gosar’s request.
Capitol Police officers are “under no order” to verify a visitor's immigration status, a source familiar with Tuesday night’s security protocol told Roll Call.
An official Capitol Police spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment.
Watch: What You Won’t See On Camera at the State of the Union
Gosar, one of the most conservative members in Congress, also asked authorities to arrest those using “fraudulent social security numbers and identification to pass through security.”
Authorities in charge of security will also likely be unable to follow through on that request. The sergeant-at-arms has a roster of everyone who received a ticket, a Roll Call source said. But guests are not expected to bring their social security cards to enter.
Law enforcement officers are not allowed to demand any identification without reasonable suspicion, the source pointed out.
“Of all the places where the Rule of Law needs to be enforced, it should be in the hallowed halls of Congress,” Gosar tweeted. “Any illegal aliens attempting to go through security, under any pretext of invitation or otherwise, should be arrested and deported.”
“Of all the places where the Rule of Law needs to be enforced, it should be in the hallowed halls of Congress. Any illegal aliens attempting to go through security, under any pretext of invitation or otherwise, should be arrested and deported," said Congressman Gosar.— Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS (@RepGosar) January 30, 2018
The American Civil Liberties Union panned Gosar’s move on Twitter, calling it “yet another attempt to silence Dreamers who are speaking out.”
“Capitol police should denounce this, strongly,” the group tweeted.
Arizona GOP Sen. Jeff Flake and a handful of his Democratic colleagues criticized Gosar for his comments.
"This is why we can't have nice things," Flake tweeted.
This is why we can’t have nice things... https://t.co/2vLHDFvFgq— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) January 30, 2018
Sen. Mazie Hirono characterized Gosar's comments with one word.
"Disgusting," the Hawaii Democrat tweeted.
Disgusting. https://t.co/guul5GMS5B— Senator Mazie Hirono (@maziehirono) January 30, 2018