Utah Gov. Spencer Cox apologized to Congress members on Friday for using a “derogatory” term to characterize members of Congress over the state of immigration reform in the U.S.
The governor called lawmakers “imbeciles,” adding, “they should all get fired” during a news conference in response to Florida’s latest anti-immigration policies.
“Just want to apologize for using a derogatory term yesterday to describe members of Congress over the past 40 years for failing to fix the border and immigration crisis. As someone who tries to hold myself to a higher standard of dignity and civility, I should be better,” Cox posted on twitter, apologizing.
The definition of “imbecile” usually refers to someone who has a mental developmental disability and is considered to be “stupid” or behave like a fool.
Despite using the derogatory term, the governor stands by what he believes to be true.
“Congress has abdicated their responsibility around immigration for the last 40 years. They’ve punted. All they want to do is get reelected by pointing fingers at each other, and they divide us. They do it on purpose, and it’s embarrassing,” Cox said.
Cox, a longtime proponent of increasing border security and welcoming refugees to the state, has stated there’s bipartisan consensus on the need to repair the country’s immigration system.
Cox signed a letter, along with 23 other GOP governors earlier this week, backing Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s strict border security efforts.
“The federal government’s response handling the expiration of Title 42 has represented a complete failure of the Biden Administration,” the letter states. “While the federal government has abdicated its duties, Republican governors stand ready to protect the U.S.-Mexico border and keep families safe.
The letter follows the expiration of Title 42 last week, a policy that allowed the U.S. to turn away immigrants amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“States should not be trying to fix this. The constitution is very clear that immigration is a federal issue. But states have to step in because these imbeciles in Congress can’t get their crap together to do something that everybody knows needs to be done,” Cox said. “And that is to protect the border and to fix legal immigration. And all they want to do is get reelected by pointing fingers at each other, and they divide us, and they do it on purpose, and it’s embarrassing, and they should all get fired.”
Cox reiterated Thursday that he supports Texas’ policies, including deploying the new Texas Tactical Border Force, apprehending 376,000 undocumented migrants, and busing asylum seekers to Democrat-run cities. The state has spent over $4.5 billion on these efforts, according to Abbott’s letter.
“Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has exemplified leadership at a critical time, leading the way with Operation Lone Star and deploying the Texas Tactical Border Force to prevent illegal crossings and keep the border secure. We support the efforts to secure the border led by Governor Abbott.”
Cox has been a passionate advocate for refugees while supporting immigration policies, including keeping Title 42 in place. He said he expects to have conversations in the coming days about how to support Texas.
“We had National Guard at the border last year, so we’ve kind of taken our turn down there, and other states are taking their turns as well, so we will be having those conversations to see what’s needed as we look now with the change in law,” Cox said.
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