We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

mark chelgren

US politician has a plan for immigrant criminals who re-enter illegally: Execute them

One local political leader called the comments “vile, hateful and downright deplorable.”

Iowa Legislature Mark Chelgren Charlie Neibergall / PA Charlie Neibergall / PA / PA

A CANDIDATE FOR the US House of Representatives in the state of Iowa has come under fire for his plan to put to death some immigrants with a criminal record.

In an interview with the Knoxville Journal Express newspaper this week, Republican State Senator Mark Chelgren announced his candidacy for the national office, and laid out his policies.

His position on immigration was summarised as follows:

For border security, Chelgren believes a fence would define the border and control who enters and leaves.
If one is found to have crossed into the country illegally, committed a felony while here, then been deported, he supports executing that individual if they break America’s immigration laws a second time.
“There is no reason to have felons here who threaten our way of life,” Chelgren said.

Reached by phone, he told the Associated Press that his comments came during a broader conversation about terrorism and border control.

Chelgren stressed he was talking specifically about immigrants with serious convictions trying to re-enter the US illegally with further criminal intent, but repeated his support for executions in those cases.

I think capital punishment should be considered for people who are felons and re-enter this country illegally, yes.
We have to make sure we are not incentivising people whose only intent is to victimise.

Iowa Democratic Party Chairwoman Andy McGuire said the comments were “vile, hateful and downright deplorable.”

Iowa Republican Party spokesman Charlie Szold said the comments “do not represent the values and the beliefs of Iowa Republicans.”

Chelgren said Democrats did not closely read his statements, which he said were directed only at a “subset” of immigrants.

Asked about the Republican criticism, he said:

Those are my beliefs and my beliefs alone and I stand by them.

Contains reporting by the Associated Press.

Read: US politicians just voted to make it almost impossible for refugees fleeing ISIS to come to America>

Read: Trump’s latest comments about illegal immigrants made a fight break out>

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.