Arizona Republican lawmaker says immigration a 'threat' because there aren't enough 'white kids' around
Latest reports state that Stringer will submit his resignation soon after the Arizona GOP called for him to resign in the wake of his comments
A Republican state lawmaker from Arizona is facing immense criticism after claiming that immigration represents an "existential threat" to the United States, partly because "there aren't enough white kids" in the country.
The lawmaker, Representative David Stringer from Prescott, made the statement on Monday at a Yavapai County Republican Men’s Forum event.
The representative's remarks were made while talking about the changing demographics in his state, and came amid the controversial Trump adminsitration move to separate children of immigrants from their parents at the US-Mexico border.
While addressing the audience at the event, Stringer said: "Sixty percent of public school children in the state of Arizona today are minorities. That complicates racial integration because there aren’t enough white kids to go around."
The Republican also called immigration "politically destabilizing" and said that minority students will eventually grow up to "change the demographic voting base of the state," calling for immediate action.
"Immigration today represents an existential threat to the United States," he said. "If we don’t do something about immigration very, very soon, the demographics of our country will be irrevocably changed and we will be a very different country. It will not be the country you were born into."
His comments were slammed by Democrats and Republicans equally, with the chairman of the Arizona Republican Party, Jonathan Lines, calling Stringer "to resign immediately" in the wake of his comments, which some are calling racist.
"In light of today’s reports detailing Representative David Stringer’s comments, I am calling on him to resign immediately. These words have no place in our party, or in our state," Lines said, according to AZfamily.com.
Latest reports state that Stringer will submit his resignation soon after the Arizona GOP called for him to resign in the wake of his comments.
Daniel Scarpinato, Gov. Doug Ducey's spokesman, said in a Twitter post that Ducey "agrees with Chairman Lines and supports this call from AZ GOP."
Stronger's remarks gained social media traction after a Democratic candidate for Arizona’s superintendent of public instruction, David Schapira, posted a video of him making the comments online.
"An AZ legislator made these overtly racist comments about our students. It's time to remove xenophobic radicals from elected office this November! We deserve leaders who understand we're a nation of immigrants who bring a diversity of experiences & ideas," Schapira wrote in his tweet.
Stringer defended his remarks on Thursday in a statement on Facebook and said: "My political opponents have taken 51 seconds out of a 16-minute speech to try to distort my message and mislead voters. We recognize the tactic. I’m not interested in taking the fake news bait."
My comments about school integration were factually accurate and were intended to illustrate the challenges facing successful integration when white students are a rapidly declining percentage of the whole," the post continues. (See the entire post at the bottom of this story.) "This issue cries out for honest and open public discussion. Regrettably, my political opponents seek to shut down discussion with name calling and vile accusations."
The regional director of Anti-Defamation League Arizona, Carlos Galindo-Elvira, called the Arizona representative's remarks "shockingly inappropriate."
"We are deeply disturbed after viewing the video and hearing comments made by Rep. David Stringer regarding minorities and immigrants," Galindo-Elvira said in a statement on Wednesday.
"There’s no place in our state government for this type of hateful messaging especially when we are a nation of immigrants; it is shockingly inappropriate,” he said. “Rep. Stringer totally disregards the numerous contributions made by immigrants for our country."