After Donald Trump laughed off a supporter’s comments suggesting immigrants who enter the country illegally should be shot, U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell is now hammering the President, calling his reaction “dangerous.”
“When he talks about shooting, I lost my father to gun violence,” Mucarsel-Powell said, recalling her father who was shot to death when she was in her mid-20s.
“I take that very seriously. We are in a situation right now in this country [where] we just had another shooting in Denver. He has to be careful,” she said of the President.
The comment about shooting immigrants came from a member of the crowd as Trump spoke at a Panama City rally Wednesday night. At the time, Trump was discussing the possibility of using weapons against immigrants entering the country illegally.
Speaking of the border agents who encounter those migrants, Trump said, “Don’t forget, we don’t let them — and we can’t let them — use weapons. We can’t. Other countries do. We can’t. I would never do that. But how do you stop these people?”
That’s when one unidentified member of the audience yelled, “Shoot them!”
Trump laughed and pointed in the direction of that audience member before shaking his head. “That’s only in the Panhandle you can get away with that statement,” Trump joked as the audience laughed and cheered.
“This is dangerous,” Mucarsel-Powell said of those comments in an appearance Thursday on CNN’s New Day, since posted to the congresswoman’s Twitter account.
“I am an immigrant. I came here from Ecuador. The rhetoric of attacking immigrants, criminalizing them, saying that we’re criminals, is just completely wrong.”
She pointed to migrants who are seeking asylum, arguing the President’s rhetoric puts them in danger.
“We cannot allow this President to carelessly say that immigrants are coming and that there’s shooting. I mean, that is a dangerous road to take and I urge the President, people close to him, to please measure their words.”
Mucarsel-Powell, who is in her first term representing Florida’s 26th Congressional District, said that while Wednesday’s crowd may have enjoyed Trump’s comments, they may not play as well elsewhere in the Sunshine State.
“Obviously it’s playing well for him politically. But it’s not going to play well for him in Florida,” Mucarsel-Powell argued. “In my district, in my area, about half of the people that live there came from another country. And they’re paying attention.”