The argument over Arizona’s harsh new immigration law has already sparked outrage from activists on both sides of the issue, and Monday’s comments from an Iowa Republican congressional candidate will only add fuel to the fire.
During a Republican forum in Tama County, 3rd District candidate Pat Bertroche said police should catch illegal immigrants and document their whereabouts with microchips, the Des Moines Register reported.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I think we should catch Ã¢â‚¬â„¢em, we should document Ã¢â‚¬â„¢em, make sure we know where they are and where they are going. I actually support microchipping them,” Bertroche said. “I can microchip my dog so I can find it. Why canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t I microchip an illegal? ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not a popular thing to say, but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a lot cheaper than building a fence they can tunnel under.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Bertroche has already backpedaled from the comment, telling the Associated Press he can’t understand why people would think he was suggesting illegal immigrants be micro-chipped or that he was comparing him to dogs.
“I don’t support microchipping anybody and it also didn’t occur to me I was comparing dogs to illegal immigrants,” he said by phone.
Instead, Bertroche, a physician, said he was trying to “illustrate a social commentary on how radical” the immigration issue has become.
Immigrant rights activists have called Bertroche’s comment “absolutely appalling.”
Sandra Sanchez, immigrants voice program director for the American Friends Services Committee, said the statement was obviously meant to Ã¢â‚¬Å“dehumanize other human beings.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I was really saddened to see a candidate for public office make such an irresponsible statement,Ã¢â‚¬Â she said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I talk to groups, congregations, schools all over the state, and I know a large majority of Iowans would be appalled by such an idea.Ã¢â‚¬Â
As he continued to draw ire for the comment, Bertroche defended himself yet again Wednesday, this time blaming the media for his predicament.
After being contacted directly by someone who was upset with his statement, Bertroche sent an e-mail that was turned over to The Iowa Independent. He wrote that the whole situation is an Ã¢â‚¬Å“indictment on our media that someone has to say something this radical in order to bring attention to a reasoned and thoughtful idea.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Bertroche is one of seven candidates seeking the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic incumbent Leonard Boswell.
He compared microchipping illegal immigrants to what he said are other radical ideas.
“Of all the major ideas that are out there, there are those that are extremely radical,” he said. “Building a fence is radical and it won’t work. Shooting them at the border is radical.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Exclusive: IRS ignored documents showing that billionaire Trump supporter avoided millions in taxes on Cape Cod estate used for Trump fundraiser
Sell your home at a loss and Congress says tough luck. Whether you overpaid or the market collapsed, it’s a personal loss and you get no tax deduction. The loss is 100 percent yours and yours alone.
In this fourth installment of The Koch Papers, we’ll look at Bill Koch’s purchase of an estate to expand his Cape Cod vacation home and a deduction he then took on his personal income tax return. The case raises questions about the diligence of federal tax law enforcement and whether under the Trump administration the IRS shows favoritism to Trump supporters.
William Ingraham Koch wanted to expand his Cape Cod vacation home compound, a lavish estate where he hosted a 2016 campaign fundraiser for Donald Trump. The Florida billionaire, whose primary Palm Beach home is six blocks from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, wanted the neighboring 26-acre estate so much that, The Koch Papers show, he paid more than twice the $29.5 million appraised value of the property.
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"Across our country, the contributions of African Americans continue to enrich every facet of American life," Trump continued. "This Juneteenth, as we vow always to uphold the God-given rights of all Americans, we pay tribute to the indomitable spirit of African Americans."
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