Unchecked illegal immigration leads to the loss of property, life, and resources, Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., says.
Gosar joins “The Daily Signal Podcast” to discuss the Biden administration’s troubling border and immigration policies. Gosar also talks about the dangers of cancel culture and his opposition to the agenda of the progressive left.
We also cover these stories:
- Twelve state attorneys general sue the Biden administration over the president’s executive order on climate change.
- President Joe Biden remains opposed to ending the Senate filibuster, White House press secretary Jen Psaki says.
- The Supreme Court announces an important decision for religious liberty.
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Rachel del Guidice: I’m joined today on “The Daily Signal Podcast” by Congressman Paul Gosar of Arizona. Congressman Gosar, it’s great to have you on “The Daily Signal Podcast.”
Rep. Paul Gosar: Great having me.
Del Guidice: All right. Well, you recently sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security, raising some concerns over the Biden administration’s actions to limit enforcement and weaken border security. Can you tell us about the letter and why you sent it?
Gosar: Yeah. Being a border state in Arizona, and being one of the biggest … states [impacted] by illegal immigration, the lack of enforcement from our border security perspective, tearing down the Trump program, keeping folks in Mexico while their case is processed, now re-instituting catch and release—where now 99%-plus of the people that are cited, then turned loose, do not show up for our court date. So, now we’re seeing it overwhelming our district.
In Yuma County they’re releasing over 50 individuals a day, and so that puts a strain on the resources, both at the county and the state level, which they are really trying to do their due diligence. But it also puts a restraint on the health and human services aspect because you’re still in a pandemic and you don’t know what these people come with and the resources are tight.
Del Guidice: As you mentioned on the day of President [Joe] Biden’s inauguration, he ended construction of the border wall. I’m curious, have you seen a change in people coming in, how that’s [been] affected since President Biden ended that construction? Have you seen even a difference? It’s been a short amount of time, but since that, have you seen any difference there?
Gosar: Oh, we’ve seen a whole different attitude in those coming into the country illegally. There’s big caravans on the move already. We’ve seen an uptick in the number of people coming across the border.
So, the signal was given and now we’re seeing that advance problem again, and as the weather starts to warm up, we will see more and more coming across the border illegally.
Then the humanitarian crisis that we’ve exacerbated—the rape, the human trafficking, the smuggling of drugs. I mean, during this COVID pandemic, we’ve seen increases in drug overdoses and domestic violence.
Del Guidice: Speaking of the drugs, I want to talk a little bit about that some more. How will the drug cartels, [specifically], be effected by this ending of construction? How will things look for them? How will their tracking, how will it look for them coming into the country, and what will that change? Will it make it easier? What will happen with these cartels?
Gosar: Well, the fact that you didn’t complete a mission—and even back in the day, I’m sure that President Biden actually voted for border security. Very few people voted against it.
So, when you’re incomplete, what you’re sending is a subliminal message to people from the other side, from the cartels, from those that want to come into this country for the wrong reasons, that it’s OK to violate the law, to violate a contract.
That starts the whole negative precipitation. If you’re not going to honor the rules of law coming into the country, how apt are you to follow them? It builds a culture of problems.
Del Guidice: Another agenda for the Biden administration that you’ve talked about being concerned over is their plan to give amnesty to 11 million illegal immigrants, as mainstream media reports. Why is this a problem, Congressman Gosar?
Gosar: Well, first thing, it’s a problem in regards to the number is inaccurate. I’m tired of people lying to the general public, and the American public understands that as well. That number is more like 33 million, or even more because you have these overstays.
You have so many people here and it’s an insult to the people that came here legally. And I hear about it all the time, saying, “Listen, how is it that we’re going to allow people to facilitate, to go on a path to citizenship when I stood in line and did it the right way? They chose to ignore the rule of law and did it on their free will.”
It really causes a problem, particularly in a country of laws. It just continues that cancer of anti-law activity.
Del Guidice: Living in Arizona, and I’m sure talking to constituents a lot, are there any personal stories or situations you’ve heard of of how illegal immigration affects your constituents?
I think, at The Daily Signal, we really try to tell personal stories that illustrate to the general public why policy issues are important. So, are there any stories you can share, things you’ve heard of with your constituents, why and how illegal immigration affects them?
Gosar: Well, you can go back to my first days in Congress, with the … family where their father was actually murdered by cartel members, seeing desecration of their ranches, the theft and looting of their personal properties, threats that they have.
Then also, when they take advantage of innocent people that are stranded, these individuals are compelled to comply and help out people that have been stranded with no water, who have been maybe raped, who have been desecrated, and basically lifesaving issues.
So, it hits over and over and over again, the loss of a property, the loss of life, the loss of resources that could go to other aspects. We’re stretched thin with our law enforcement, so it hits over and over and over again.
Del Guidice: Speaking of walls and, ironically enough, when it comes to Democrats and their perspective of walls, we’ve seen a wall go up around the Capitol, which is keeping taxpayers out right now, [keeping them from] visiting the members that they sent to Congress. But the wall at the southern border that was being built to keep out drug cartels and [illegal immigrants], construction has been stopped, as we talked about. Do you see any sort of double standard here at all?
Gosar: Absolutely. So, we know we can ask [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi how that really works, and she’s in charge of security on the Capitol grounds.
We’re now being made aware that during the [Jan. 6] uprising, from some folks, that it was mainly a peaceful exhibition. But she, in her oversight, failed to put the proper resources that had been asked by Capitol Police. And now they’re relying on a 12-foot-wall.
It wasn’t good enough for a regular [wall]. Now we’ve gone to a 12-foot-wall with some razor wire. So, really, it looks more like the Soviet Union than it does a Capitol that we the people could actually just walk in. That was one of the best charges.
So it’s funny that the walls work when they want them to work, but they’re not adequate or they’re racist when they don’t condone it.
Del Guidice: I think you were among about 41 House Republicans that went to Speaker Pelosi to ask her to take down this wall. Has there been any movement on that? What’s the update there? Have you heard anything from her?
Gosar: No, and she’s one of those people that she’ll do it on her time and her time only, and so I don’t expect that we’ll actually hear something from her for quite some time.
Del Guidice: Well, we’ve talked a lot about immigration and the different pieces of the Biden agenda there. What other items of the Biden administration and agenda are most concerning to you?
Gosar: Well, … cancel culture, the embracing of wiping away, intimidation, threatening when we don’t agree with somebody in that public sphere, in that public workplace, that public square of the First Amendment.
We’re not seeing that attack. More than anything we’ve seen now that a group of people, a group of platforms, have been given special immunity, where they are deciding, as associates from the Democratic Party, what is good speech, what is bad speech, what is tolerable, what is censored?
If they’re really a principled lot to the Constitution, then it’s high time that we rein these folks in and make sure that what we do is we have that public sphere where we have the freedom of speech, the freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, and the freedom to petition our government.
I find that you can’t solve anything unless you have that debate, and this crimps that debate. That puts a heavy air, force against that aspect of free speech.
Del Guidice: Recently, House Democrats passed the Equality Act, and there’s a bunch of different pieces to this legislation. But one of the things that it will do is allow biological men into women’s restrooms, and it will allow biological boys who are identifying as girls into locker rooms to disrobe in the same room with biological girls.
So, first of all, what all will this piece of legislation do, and is it concerning to you?
Gosar: It’s very concerning to me because I thought there was a move afoot that allowed women to excel with women. When you talk about sports, there’s no comparison for the average woman versus the average man, and so that’s shameful when you see that.
I’m appalled that I don’t see more of the women, first, coming forward and acknowledging that there’s a problem here. That gets to the quality of the discussion, not the color of my skin that was so poignant during the civil rights aspect.
When you start looking at the gender-changing for young kids, this is problematic.
I think [Sen.] Rand Paul hit it very head-on in regards to children are still maturing, they’re trying to figure out life. So you’re allowing them to take an irreversible process and make that decision there, particularly when the facts and the protocols show that it’s mitigated in a natural way as they grow older.
I’m very sad, very, very sad. That’s not what the intent was of the equal rights in 1964. It wasn’t the intent there. I find that instead of being inclusionary, we’re dictating everything to a small group, and that’s really sad.
Del Guidice: Is there any way that conservatives can combat this? … The Democrats are running everything right now, but what would you tell your colleagues when it comes to how a type of this legislation could be combated in some way?
Gosar: I think that we should have had a strategy in place. … Because of the cant of where the Democrats have gone to the real socialistic side, there’s a number of the more moderate and more centralist Democrats that don’t like the direction.
I mean, we heard [Rep. Abigail] Spanberger from Virginia sound off after the election. And, with their narrow majority, and soon-to-be shorter majority, particularly when you have the five members that are going into the administration, there’s an opportunity here to actually put a lot of force. I mean, last night, two Democrats voted against the COVID-19 package.
So, making sure that they’re put on notice. And I think that goes with the same fact as, … every week that we’re in session, why isn’t the minority leader going to the floor and asking for a motion to vacate the chair?
That’s using all the tools in the toolbox in regards to making sure that we save this republic and getting back to business that should be usual, where we actually have regular order, where committees are actually being heard, there’s debate, and that we’re getting bills that actually solve problems instead of creating more.
Del Guidice: Well, more big picture, how do you think your conservative colleagues in Congress can combat Biden’s agenda, despite the fact that the Democrats are running everything else, [as] we talked about?
Gosar: Once again, it’s holding people accountable. We should be spending money in these folks’ backyard, make sure that they’re held accountable. When I won my election in 2010, we won it on the face of Nancy Pelosi, and so why not do that again? She’s toxic.
The other thing is that we should be out there for what we’re for in the agenda items. I spend a lot of time in natural resources, so why aren’t we engaging with the new secretary and California with wildfires? These are the most polluting events, period. Period. And we’re not going to intercede on that? There’s a great way to be empowered, not become victims.
There’s that. There’s water. There’s critical minerals—that is so vital to our technology sector. I mean, to give you an example of one, we’ve got a rare earth discovery in Arizona, that the mineral, when you add it to aluminum, gives you twice the strength for half the weight.
That’s going to revolutionize aviation, it’s going to revolutionize cars because of the less weight, with a better strength, it’s going to get more efficiency. So, that pursuit of excellence is going to continue.
So, we ought to be dictating that to the American people, making a push so that the American people engage and help us push that agenda forward.
Del Guidice: Congressman Gosar, you touched on the problem of cancel culture a little bit ago in our conversation. We’ve seen how big of a problem this has become on social media, just in general society, of people losing jobs for beliefs that they hold, that they have spoken out on.
So, how would you encourage your colleagues, as well as everyday Americans, to fight against cancel culture?
Gosar: Well, we have to lead by example. So, to give you an example, I’m from a big family. I’ve got seven siblings that do not like me. They worked to cancel me in my representation of the people I serve back in Arizona. It’s backfired. I mean, we’ve run 70% of the vote now, year, after year, after year. But we have to set an example for everybody else, and we got to make sure that we’re pursuing this in good form.
I brought up the platforms. Why do they get away with things that you couldn’t get away with or I couldn’t get away with? You got to be under that same law. And so we need to be putting solutions and then integrating with individuals out there, engaging with the public at large, saying, “Listen, there is a solution here. Here’s why it works. This is why we need it.”
Because if we stop the framing and openness of talking about ideas—that’s how we got to being the greatest country ever, was the sharing and debate of ideas, but in the civil sphere.
When you cancel culture, history books always tell you that you are doomed to fail and repeat history if you don’t acknowledge what your history is all about. That history is about a learning people that wanted to get things right, that it’s an imperfect world, and it’s a striving to make sure that we get it better.
And there’s not one right way. There’s not one right culture. It should be all available so that we understand the good, the bad, the ugly. So, when we do it in that fashion, we’re less apt to repeat the failures of the past.
Del Guidice: Well, Congressman Gosar, thank you so much for joining us on “The Daily Signal Podcast.” It’s always great having you with us.
Gosar: Thanks, Rachel. Appreciate it, always appreciate it.