Alaska Republican says immigrants are gang members who will take your guns away
Alaska GOP senatorial candidate Joe Miller (Facebook)

A Tea Party Repubilcan senatorial candidate in Alaska says a vote for immigration reform would imperil the Second Amendment and gun ownership in America. And to make that point, he's put images of Mexican gang members on a flier that's so over the top, it's become a news story, Think Progress reported.

A flyer for Joe Miller's campaign features the image, taken from a 2007 book, Young and Lethal: Life in a Mexican Drug Cartel, and says incumbent Sen. Mark Begich (D-AZ) "wants them to vote."

"If 20 million illegals vote, you can kiss the 2nd Amendment goodbye," a quote attributed to Miller states. "I am the only candidate who favors Voter ID."

The Alaska Dispatch News posted the flyer online on Monday:


That same day, Miller defended the use of the image in a primary debate. But instead of citing sources related to immigration, he used remarks made by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) during an interview with Fox News. According to Miller, Cruz said immigrant children were being forced to cut other children's fingers off.

"They're being sexually abused, all at the hands of the gang members like the gang members that are portrayed on this card," Miller argued. "Sometimes the truth is hard."

Miller also insisted there was a "clear correlation" between immmigration and gun ownership rights.

"If you end up granting amnesty to those who don't value gun rights, who have not been raised in an environment where the Second Amendment is cherished -- is considered to be a God-given right -- the reality is over a generation or two, the likelihood is very strong that the 2nd Amendment will not be here," he was quoted as saying.

Both Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), who defeated Miller in the 2010 election via a write-in campaign, and Begich voted for the immigration reform plan that passed in the Senate last year. The bill, which stalled in the GOP-dominated House, would have prevented confirmed gang members from being eligible for the bill's path to citizenship.

NBC News reported that Miller is currently "a distant third" in the current Republican Senate primary, behind Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell (R) and former state Attorney General Dan Sullivan. The primary is scheduled for Aug. 19, with the winner moving on to oppose Begich in the November general election.

[Image via Joe Miller campaign Facebook page]

[h/t Salon]