WASHINGTON -- Former House Speaker and Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich accused the president in a robocall to conservatives of putting America at risk through his immigration policies -- including what seems be a reference to a new policy that will help refugee children.
The call went out to donors of the conservative Presidential Coalition, which is part of Citizens United, and was shared with HuffPost by Nomorobo, a service that blocks robocalls.
The call has some familiar complaints from conservatives about Obama's "open border immigration policy" and "willful refusal to defend our borders," but Gingrich added a less common accusation to the list.
"To make matters worse, the White House recently stated that it's planning to spend almost $50 million to fly people directly to the United States from countries that are sending tens of thousands of people here illegally," he says in the robocall. "This plan, along with the president's willful refusal to defend our borders, is a grave threat to our national security."
A staffer at the Presidential Coalition wasn't able to explain what Gingrich was referring to when he said the U.S. was planning to fly people to the country, and the former speaker did not respond to a request for clarification.
Gingrich may have been referring to the White House's plan to allow children from Central American countries to apply for refugee status in the U.S. from their home countries, an attempt to discourage them from crossing the southwestern border illegally in hopes of getting protection in the U.S. Initial reports about the program in July, when it was under consideration in Honduras, said it would cost up to $47 million in a two-year period.
From October 2013 to the end of September 2014, more than 68,5000 children and teenagers came to the U.S. illegally without parents. Most of them were from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, and many of the minors have said they were fleeing violence or poverty at home.
Gingrich wrote in a blog post in June that the number of unaccompanied minors coming to the U.S. was "a direct result of deliberate Obama administration policy that encourages illegal immigration."
The administration seemed to be enacting "a deliberate policy of maximizing the number of illegal immigrants allowed to stay in the United States," he wrote. "Any suggestion that these are mostly political refugees is a lie."
Read the text of Gingrich's comments on the robocall below:
First, let me say thank you for the opportunity to speak with you and share with you my ever-growing concern that today, more than ever, America is at risk. In his latest act that threatens our national security, President Obama has allowed dangerous South American drug cartels to infiltrate our country as a result of his open border immigration policy. To make matters worse, the White House recently stated that it's planning to spend almost $50 million to fly people directly to the United States from countries that are sending tens of thousands of people here illegally. This plan, along with the president's willful refusal to defend our borders, is a grave threat to our national security. As Texas Gov. Rick Perry has noted, we are seeing record numbers of people from Syria, Pakistan and Afghanistan crossing our southern border illegally. I am deeply concerned about the direction our country is heading, and I know you are, too.
Listen to the call, via Nomorobo: