Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), during an interview on Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Tonight on Monday, advised President Donald Trump to pressure Mexico into doing its “fair share” to combat illegal immigration to the U.S. via leveraging NAFTA negotiations.
Breitbart Senior Editor-at-Large Rebecca Mansour asked Gosar about the “caravan” of Central Americans crossing Mexico to reach the Mexico-U.S. border.
“Apparently, their plan was to go to a port of entry and request asylum into the United States, in which case they would presumably be admitted, and then they would be given a court date for them to come in front of a court to petition,” said Mansour. “If they do not show up for that court date, if they sort of disappear into the interior, we would never know. … What do you make of this process, and what is Congress doing to prevent something like this from happening again?”
“This was brought forward in large scale by the Obama administration,” replied Gosar, “because what ends up happening, for the minors that are here, if they’re a non-contiguous country, we can’t send them right back. Minors from Mexico or Canada can be sent immediately right back, but there’s a loophole that allows people from non-contiguous states to be able to stay pending a court hearing.”
Gosar described Congress as unwilling to revise laws and policies exploited by illegal aliens.
“So far in 2018, we’ve already had over thirteen thousand petitions into this country, and that’s from the White House numbers released via a press release,” said Gosar. “The problem is, Congress is doing nothing in regards to this because we couldn’t even pass a budget that actually funds the wall, even though we had the opportunity — particularly when you had Chuck Schumer coming to the table after the Schumer shutdown. We should have divested ourselves of the military budget and discretionary spending and diverted ourselves there, but our Republican leadership wasn’t strong enough to do any of that.”
Gosar advised Trump to leverage NAFTA negotiations to pressure Mexico against facilitating illegal immigration into the U.S. across the southern border.
“Kudos to President Trump using every ability that he has to influence this,” Gosar remarked. “I said it before when the NAFTA discussions were going under, that support of our border is paramount, and if Mexico is not going to do it on our northern order like they do on their southern border, then we’ve got a problem.”
“You start adding up all the change, over $100 billion per year we spend on illegals in this country, and that’s just what we can calibrate,” Gosar continued. “I applaud President Trump because Mexico’s got to do their fair share if they’re going to be good neighbors, so I would keep the pressure on them. Maybe I would put something in the contract that NAFTA becomes null and void if Mexico doesn’t do its job on border security, both on its northern and southern borders.”
Mansour asked Gosar about applying pressure to criminal cartels in Mexico to combat illegal immigration. “Is there anything that’s being done about the fact that Mexico itself is a failed state [run by] its cartels? Is there ever any action on the cartels? Because … it’s the cartels that are also the push factor for all this illegal migratory activity.”
“We were successful in Colombia,” replied Gosar. “I don’t understand why we couldn’t do it [in Mexico]. This is a win-win situation, giving a country back to the people it belongs instead of the drug cartels.”
Gosar framed the GOP as “afraid of the Democratic Party” and unwilling to revise laws to address illegal immigration.
“When you have rules and laws that facilitate illegal behavior, how do you actually enforce that?” asked Gosar. “Many of our laws are so porous, and Congress shows unwillingness to actually take them up, and they’re afraid of the Democratic Party, and that’s exactly who is trying to bring these people in, is the Democratic Party because they see their numbers go down, and they want to make sure that they can win the elections for the future. This is the problem with Congress — particularly with Republican leadership — because they do not have a coherent strategy.”
“Why are [Republican leaders] not addressing this issue?” asked Mansour. “It seems to be electorally a good issue for us because the Democrats are viewed largely as being more interested in helping illegal immigrants than helping American workers. I don’t understand why the GOP isn’t pushing this issue more, isn’t framing the debate around the 2018 midterms more around what we are trying to do for the American worker.”
“It can only be said, then, that maybe [GOP] leadership has a different agenda item in regards to being sympathetic to this problem,” ascertained Gosar. “President Trump won largely in part because of his stand on immigration. A country without borders and sovereign law is no country at all. These people are maybe trying to come for a better life, but there’s limits to what this country can actually do, and we should be able to determine who’s coming in and who’s not.”
Gosar highlighted Congress’s passing of a $1.3 trillion omnibus appropriations bill as evidence of GOP leadership’s not sharing Trump’s vision for border security and immigration law enforcement.
“Maybe leadership doesn’t want [Donald Trump] to have that support,” speculated Gosar. “When you pass a budget like they did with $1.3 trillion, and you don’t have enough for a border wall, and you tell the president, ‘Maybe you can take $10 billion out of the Defense Authorization Fund,’ which I don’t think actually are plausible because Congress — through the Antideficiency Act — would have had to have dictated that.”
“I find it offensive that we don’t get back to the rule of law and we’re afraid of our own shadow,” said Gosar.
Breitbart Senior Editor-at-Large Joel Pollak asked Gosar for comment on the use of The Impoundment Act as a means to reduce government spending. “There’s another law people are talking about a lot lately. It’s a 1974 statute called The Impoundment Act, which allows the White House to decline to spend funds that Congress has appropriated as long as Congress agrees to the recision of funds. … Is that something that you think is plausible, and would you support it or oppose it?”
“I would absolutely support it,” said Gosar. “We have got to address our spending addiction. The problem becomes, how do you look at the Senate? We’ve allowed the Senate and the minority to dictate every process. Instead of having a coherent strategy that started on day one, we waited until the last minute, and we allowed Chuck Schumer to dictate the whole process. That’s problematic. We allow the Senate to dictate accordingly.”
Gosar described the omnibus bill passed in March as “riddled with everything New York to California in it” and “shameful.”
“We got infrastructure for a tunnel to somewhere, maybe to nowhere, between New Jersey and New York,” Gosar said. “Where’s the infrastructure down in the southern part of the country along our Mexican border? It’s sad. Talk’s cheap. Action speaks. I’m still waiting.”
“We rewarded bad behavior, and then, we basically took off the table reconciliation for a 51-vote threshold [in] the Senate,” recalled Gosar. “It’s shameful what leadership has done in kowtowing to the minority. This never happened when Harry Reid was majority leader or Nancy Pelosi was [house speaker].”
“We’ve got to do a lot of review with regards to our immigration [laws],” recommended Gosar. “We’ve got to look at what’s sovereign about our country. We are about the rule of law, and when you come here illegally, you’re breaking the law. That’s what Americans so defile. If your initial entry into the country is through an illegal action, you’re a law-breaker from day one, and that’s not right.”
Breitbart News Tonight broadcasts live Monday through Friday on SiriusXM’s Patriot channel 125 from 9:00 p.m. to midnight Eastern (6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Pacific).
Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.