POLITICS
07/29/2014 10:31 am ET Updated Jul 29, 2014

Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst On Undocumented Immigrants: 'We Don't Want 'Em'

A Texas lawmaker claimed Monday that undocumented immigrants crossing the border will unleash criminal activity nationwide if the government does not crack down on them.

"Mark my word on this, my friend. Texas is a gateway state to the U.S. If we don't stop them in Texas, ladies and gentlemen, they're going to be in your neighborhoods all around the United States. Criminal elements. People breaking the law," Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R) said in an interview on Sean Hannity's radio show.

"Too many -- some 25 percent, the border patrol says -- have criminal records. We don't want 'em. We don't want 'em. We don't want 'em to come in and hurt you, hurt us," he continued.

When Hannity mentioned that some of the immigrants allegedly hold ties to terrorism because they might come from countries such as Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen, Dewhurst responded by saying waves of Chinese immigrants are crossing the border.

"[The signs at the border] are in English, Spanish and Chinese. We've got a tsunami of Chinese coming across. Now, Sean, why are Chinese coming?" he asked Hannity. "Why is there a tsunami of Chinese, and as you mentioned, Yemen, and many other countries that are locations of terrorism against the United States?"

Since the beginning of October, more than 57,000 unaccompanied children, mostly from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, have been caught trying to enter illegally at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Dewhurst's remarks are just another addition to the long list of extreme statements Republicans have made recently about the border crisis.

Earlier this month, Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R), a fellow Texan, said the children detained at various facilities around the country are being treated in a "lovely way." "They're getting free health care, free housing, you know, they're watching the World Cup on big screen TVs," he said.

In Arizona, Republican congressional candidate Adam Kwasman mistook a bus of YMCA campers for undocumented minors.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), announced a plan last week to place up to 1,000 National Guard troops at the border to tighten security and dissuade more undocumented immigrants from crossing the border. Perry took unilateral action in part to protest what he and other Republicans see as a lack of action by the White House.

At the press conference for Perry's announcement, Dewhurst reiterated these sentiments.

"It's our responsibility to act independently of the federal government if the federal government failed to do the job it's required to do," he said. "Washington has refused to control our border. I'm mad, and most Texans are mad."

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