Georgia Lawmaker Says National Guard Should ‘Shoot To Kill’ Border Crossers

“Shoot To Kill” Border Crossers

At a candidate forum last week, Georgia state Rep. John Yates (R) was asked for his recommendations on what to do about illegal immigration in Florida. Yates replied that troops on the border should be given “shoot to kill” orders and that fliers should be dropped in Mexico warning of the new immigration policy. “They ought to be armed and if warned leaflets dropped all over Mexico says that we will shoot to kill if anybody crosses and be serious about this and if they do that then there won’t be anybody killed [sic],”reasoned Yates.

In an interview with Atlanta’s Fox5, Yates stood by his comments:

Some have questioned Yates’ comments. When asked if he could see why people would be upset with his comments Yates, “No, I don’t think they’d be upset with what I’d say.”

Rep. Yates, a WWII veteran in office more than 20 years, represents parts of Douglas, Fayette and Spalding Counties.

“If they come over here, on these raids killing ranchers and everything, you got to stop them some way,” said Yates.

Yates likened illegal immigrants to enemies of the country.

“Stopping Hitler was worth the price,” Yates said. “It’s our border, they’re invading us.”

Watch Fox5′s report:

Jerry Gonzalez of Georgia’s Association of Latino Elected Officials’s has already voiced his concerns: “We’re concerned that this type of rhetoric, if it blows up is going to incite violence against our community.”

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) echoed Gonzalez’s statement. “We are seeing a frightening ratcheting up of hate speech about undocumented workers from Mexico, and John Yates has taken the rhetoric to a level of extremism that is shocking and deeply disturbing,” said Bill Nigut, the ADL’s southeast regional director. “Comparing Mexicans crossing the border illegally to Hitler’s army is grossly offensive to Jews and others who suffered the tragic consequences of the Nazi’s so-called ‘Final Solution.’”

Andrea NillImmigration has become a hot button issue in Georgia, particularly in the past few months. The issue is at the front and center of the state’s gubernatorial race, along with many otherlocal elections. The state recently banned undocumented immigrants from attending most of the state’s most prestigious public universities and colleges. Georgia Republicans are already drafting an immigration law similar to the one recently passed by Arizona. Georgia is home to an estimated 480,000 undocumented immigrants.

Andrea Christina Nill

Reposted with permission from The Wonk Room

Published by the LA Progressive on October 20, 2010
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About Andrea Christina Nill

Andrea Nill is an Immigration Researcher/Blogger for ThinkProgress.org and The Progress Report at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Andrea holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in Political Science with a concentration in Latin American Studies and Law and Society. Prior to joining the center, Andrea was a Communications Associate at the Immigration Policy Center where she founded the blog, Immigration Impact. Andrea was also a Communications Specialist at the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), specializing in bilingual public relations. Andrea was born in Guatemala and grew up in upstate New York.