An Iowa Republican lawmaker this week suggested that the federal government consider executing some undocumented immigrants who try to re-enter the United States after being deported for committing a felony.
State Sen. Mark Chelgren, who is running for Congress, told the Knoxville Journal Express about his plans for punishing certain undocumented immigrants in an extensive interview published on Monday:
If one is found to have crossed into the country illegally, committed a felony while here, then been deported, he supports executing that individual if they break America’s immigration laws a second time.
“There is no reason to have felons here who threaten our way of life,” Chelgren told the Journal Express.
The state senator later confirmed this belief to the Des Moines Register on Tuesday, but he added that he would only consider capital punishment for those who repeatedly enter the country illegally with plans to commit a felony or carry out a terrorist plot.
“I am looking at people who are deported and who re-enter the country illegally. Obviously, I don’t want to tear apart families. We need to be sure we are protecting the people of the United States,” he told the Des Moines Register. “Of course, I will be strong on crime. I want to make sure that we don’t have criminals coming into the United States and victimizing our citizens.”
The Iowa Republican party condemned Chelgren’s remarks.
“These remarks do not represent the values and beliefs of Iowa Republicans. Period,” Iowa GOP spokesman Charlie Szold said in a statement to the Des Moines Register.
The chairwoman of the Iowa Democratic Party, Andy McGuire, told the Des Moines Register that Chelgren’s remarks represent “a dangerous new low for the Republican Party.”
H/t Right Wing Watch