Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) linked the thousands of Central American immigrants to both Mexican revolutionaries and terrorists during an interview with radio host Dan Maduri, and argued that President Barack Obama should use military force to keep them out of the U.S.
“If he wanted to, he could do what Woodrow Wilson did — and he’s certainly not one of my favorite presidents,” Gohmert said on Tuesday. “But after Pancho Villa’s gangs came across, I believe in Arizona, and killed some American families, he said, ‘That’s it.’ He sent John Pershing with troops into Mexico. And you can read some different versions. Tens of thousands of National Guard were put on the border. And Dan, nobody came in that we didn’t want to come in.”
Gohmert was likely referring to a March 1916 attack by Villa and his supporters against a detachment of the Army’s 13th Cavalry Regiment in Columbus, New Mexico. The Mexican revolutionary leader carried out the attack in order to gain supplies for his military campaign against the country’s U.S.-backed president, Venustiano Carranza.
Eighteen U.S. residents were killed in the attack. In response, Pershing and 5,000 Army troops pursued Villa’s forces in Mexico for nearly a year, to no avail.
The Obama administration said on Monday that the majority of the young immigrants will not be allowed to remain in the U.S. But, Gohmert did not mention that the thousands of “unaccompanied minors” who have entered the U.S. in recent months actually come from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala to try to escape violence in their own countries. The congressman also omitted the fact that the Mexican constitution specifically forbids foreign military forces from operating in their country.
Gohmert also said he was told by unidentified “border patrolmen” that they have spotted more immigrants entering the U.S. from “countries in which radical Islamic terrorism exists.”
“It’s constantly increasing,” he told Maduri. “So the radical Islamists, they’re not missing a bet, they understand the border’s open, so they’re coming, drugs coming, sex trafficking’s coming, and it’s got to stop.”
“Are you saying that terrorists are now coming into this country through this surge of illegal immigrants?” Maduri asked.
“I’m telling you what the border patrolmen tell me,” Gohmert said. “That we have more people than ever coming from countries that have radical Islamic terrorism coming in. I can’t tell you that they’re terrorists because they’re not being stopped.”