Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan got some unexpected visitors at his book signing this weekend, when young, undocumented immigrants approached his table asking, “Do you want to deport me and my sister?”
Ryan, who was signing copies of his new book “The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea” at a Books-A-Million store in Panama City, Florida on Friday night, was confronted by activists advocating for undocumented immigrants brought into the country illegally as young children.
The Republican posed for a strained photo with a young man, who begins to ask him about his recent vote to defund President Obama’s deferred deportations for immigrants who were brought to the country illegally by their parents at a young age.
The young man explains to Ryan that defunding deferred deportations would put both him and his sister up for deportation, to which Ryan repeatedly directs him to “read the position in the book” and cites the Constitution as a cause for his vote.
“We read it, do you want to deport me and my sister?” the young man asks again.
This isn’t a new confrontation for the Wisconsin Republican: he actually recounts a similar scene in his book—which msnbc read last week—when a young student confronts him about his votes to defund another executive order the president had authorized to try and alleviate the pressures on young DREAMers.
“It was not for the president to rewrite our laws unilaterally. He has no such constitutional authority,” he wrote in the book. “A better way—one I support—would be for Congress to pass, and the president to sign, legislation that would offer a legal pathway for unauthorized immigrants whose parents brought them here as children. And, of course, we must also secure the border, enforce the interior, and address other pressing immigration issues this way.”
Moments later, another young person, who later identifies himself as Ray Jose, a so-called DREAMer—named for the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act—and an organizer at United We Dream, confronts Ryan. He is quickly pushed away but he asks “do you want to take away my DACA?” before being escorted out by police.
“If that’s your way forward, know that DREAMer before me fought for deferred action for childhood arrivals and DREAMer like myself will defend it,” he says in a second shot filmed in the parking lot.
United We Dream has made headlines in recent weeks going after Republicans for their stances on immigration: a pair confronted Iowa Rep. Steve King earlier this month, a face-off so politically dangerous that a staffer quickly escorted Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul away from the scene, mid-burger. King compliments one activist on her English skills, asks her if she’s a drug smuggler, and tells her she’s lying about his politics. House Speaker John Boehner was also confronted this Spring, as well.