Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., advocated for President Donald Trump’s border wall in inflammatory terms on Sunday, saying that Democratic leaders in Congress have “American blood” on their hands for their refusal to allocate $5 billion for its construction.
“The question is going to be, how much blood, American blood, do you have to have on the hands of the Democrat leaders like Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer before they will help us with border security?” Brooks said in an interview with WAAY. “Or is their craving for power such that they are willing to accept the loss of American life?
“Democrats have an ‘open borders’ philosophy. They don’t believe in border security. They believe this is the way to change the American electorate in order to win elections,” Brooks continued, underscoring his argument that Democrats want undocumented immigrants to increase the share of Latinos in the voting population because they believe it will improve their fortunes at the ballot box.
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That theory is commonly broadcast on “flat-out neo-Nazi” websites like Stormfront.org, according to Heidi Beirich, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“It’s common thinking among white supremacists that Democrats are importing people of color to undermine the power of the white electorate,” Beirich said. “That is what he’s saying, that Latinos are changing the face of the country, and that Democrats are browning the country to serve their purposes. It’s an incredibly offensive thing to say that Latinos can’t be real Americans.”
Asked about the parallels between his comments and white supremacist websites, Brooks doubled down, saying in an emailed statement that “the loss of American lives and the Democrats’ responsibility and motivation for these dead Americans is clear-cut and not a debatable issue.”
He also charged that “the so-called ‘Southern Poverty Law Center’ has a long history of creating and profiting from the racial division it fosters. Its hollering ‘racism’ every time it gets the chance has become old, tired and meaningless, much like the boy who cried wolf.”
In the radio interview Sunday, Brooks argued that immigrants pose a threat to the safety of native U.S. citizens through homicides, car accidents and narcotics.
“You have thousands of Americans dying because of Democrats’ refusal to secure our borders,” he said. “Those Americans are dying because of murders by illegal aliens, vehicular homicides by illegal aliens or the illegal narcotics that have been shipped into this country by illegal aliens or their drug cartels.”
Beirich said that while that is a common argument by Brooks, it is a false one.
“Mo Brooks has a long history of painting immigrants as vile people. In this case he put forward this image of immigrants as drug mules and murders,” Beirich said. “It’s a terrible portrayal of this population that’s not accurate, in order to demonize them as deficient or dangerous.”
Meanwhile, the 5th District Republican argued his hardline stance on immigration is detached from race.
“Last time I checked, there is no racial criteria for being an ‘illegal alien’ and illegal aliens are causing the deaths of Americans regardless of their race or ethnicity,” he said in his statement.
Mark Pettitt, a longtime aide who said he has known the congressman for “half a century,” said that Brooks “does not consider skin pigmentation in his evaluation of policy. Period. Those who do are the racists.”
Watch: Remember When Donald Trump Wanted Mexico To Pay for the Wall?