A German-born mayoral candidate in Sioux Falls, South Dakota is in hot water after social media posts expressing alleged anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim bias have surfaced.
Sioux Falls’ Argus Leader newspaper reported Wednesday that “dark horse” mayoral hopeful Mike Gunn posted and shared anti-immigrant rhetoric, including urging Facebook friends to call the police on people they suspect are not documented citizens.
He also hared a link from the “Americans First, Task Force of Aberdeen SD” Facebook page, which appears to be dedicated to promoting the myth that Muslims are trying to take over the world.
The post that Gunn shared included a link to anti-Muslim website JihadWatch.com claiming the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a nonprofit Muslim advocacy group, is a terrorist organization.
In an interview with the Argus Leader, Gunn denied that he’s “anti-Muslim or anti-immigrant,” but instead a proponent of “doing things the legal way.”
“Assimilate to our ways or, if you want it to be like your home country, then go home,” the candidate said. “I don’t see why that’s a racist remark. We are the United States. There’s a difference in the name, there’s a difference in the rules, and there’s a difference in the way of life.”
If he were to win the mayoral election, Gunn told the paper that he “would direct the Sioux Falls Police Department to work with federal immigration authorities to ensure foreign-born residents aren’t overstaying their visas or being harbored by local organizations or businesses.”