POLITICS
05/15/2018 11:40 am ET Updated May 17, 2018

Georgia GOP Gov. Candidate Wants To Round Up Immigrants In 'Deportation Bus'

"We’re going to put them on this bus and send them home," boasts state Sen. Michael Williams.

A Republican Georgia state senator running for governor announced the start of his “Deportation Bus Tour” on Tuesday, which he said will consist of rounding up illegal immigrants in a school bus labeled “Murderers, rapists, kidnappers, child molestors, and other criminals on board.” It misspells molesters.

Michael Williams, who was his state’s co-chair for President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, said the tour aims to “shine a light on the dangers of sanctuary cities and the overwhelming problem of illegal immigration.” The bus will make stops in Clarkston, Decatur and Athens, which Republican state officials have accused of violating federal immigration laws and being “sanctuary cities.” (Decatur denies this, saying it has a longstanding policy against detaining or arresting people solely based on requests of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.)

“We’re not just going to track them and watch them roam around our state, we’re going to put them on this bus and send them home,” Williams said in a video promoting the bus trip.

It’s unclear how the politician plans to lawfully apprehend immigrants, let alone deport them. Williams did not respond to a request for comment. 

Williams touted his role in some of the country’s toughest immigration laws, including one that requires local law enforcement to notify ICE if they have an undocumented immigrant in custody. Cities like Decatur with policies against this often adopt them based on legal concerns, because of court rulings that found holding people without a warrant violates their constitutional rights.

Williams’ attack on sanctuary cities echoes the Trump administration’s shots at them as part of its immigration crackdown. The Department of Justice sued the state of California in March for policies meant to help local law enforcement work with immigrant communities.

Watch the full ad below:

This story has been updated to include more detail on sanctuary cities and Williams’ claims about them.

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