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June 24, 2024 02:08 PM UTC

In Interviews, Congressional Candidate Evans Says He Supports Mass Deportation — But Only If Interviewers Ask Him Twice

  • 1 Comments
  • by: Jason Salzman

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Originally published at the Colorado Times Recorder

Rep. Gabe Evans

GOP Congressional Candidate Gabe Evans has been asked at least three times publicly whether he supports the mass deportation of immigrants, and in each case, he didn’t answer the question on the first try.

But in two of the three cases, the interviewer didn’t accept his non-answer and, instead, put the screws on Evans with a follow-up question, asking again, directly, if he supports mass deportation.

In response to the follow-up questions, he eventually got around to stating that, yes, he supports mass deportations.

First Comment by Evans on Mass Deportations

Evans, who’s running in Colorado’s most competitive congressional district, was first asked the question publicly at a January debate, where he was asked by the moderator, “Obviously there are millions of people living in the U.S. illegally. What do you do with them?”

Evans: “So again, the first step is we got to secure the border. Don’t pass go; don’t collect $200 until you secure the border. After you’ve secured that border, then that’s the time when we can have the conversation, and say, ‘What do we do?’ Again, the story of my family is the story of somebody who earned two purple hearts to earn his citizenship. There are folks who came to this country legally. And so if you are in this country illegally, we want you to follow the law. We are a nation that is ruled by law. So you need to go stand in that line and do it the right way, do it the legal way, so you are not leapfrogging over those folks like my grandfather who did it the right way and did it the legal way. So we need to have that conversation identified but we need to be a nation that’s ruled by law. Go take your place in line and do it the right way.”

What Did Evans Say? Here, there was no follow-up question, and his answer isn’t clear. If you’re a journalist covering the event, you could report that he dodged the question (waiting to “have the conversation” after the border is secured). He got close to saying he supported mass deportation (“Go take your place in line and do it the right way.”), but he didn’t say immigrants should leave the country.

Second Comment by Evans on Mass Deportations

In May, Evans addressed the issue on KNUS radio’s Jeff and Bill Show May 23, where right-wing host Jeff Hunt wanted a straight answer from Evans, and eventually, he got one.

First, Hunt asked him directly, “Would you support mass deportations?”

Evans: “Well, I think the first thing that we got to do is we got to get the border secured,” Evans replied, “because as long as the border is open, it really doesn’t matter what we do in this country. You can, you know, turn on the news and you can see, oh, hey, this, you know, particular individual who was deported five times. Seven times, nine times. He came right back, continued to do bad things, continue to commit crimes. So the absolute first step that we have to do is get the border under control, because until the border is under control, everything else that we do is pointless. They can just come right back in.”

Hunt follows up with: “So if Trump does get [the border] under control, and then the likely president of the United States, Donald Trump, wants to initiate mass deportations. Would you support it then?”

Evans: “I think you have to, definitely, prioritize it,” Evans told co-host Jeff Hunt. “You know, ten years as a police officer. I know that there’s a lot of violent folks that are here in this country illegally. We definitely got to go after those folks first. But like I said earlier, you know, it takes years to legally come to this country. And so you got folks that are here illegally. … Go back, wait in line, do it the right way. Stop cutting in line. You want to come here? Let’s come here. Let’s work on how we can streamline that process. But you can’t cut in line.”

What Did Evans Say? If you’re a journalist covering this interview, you could report with confidence that he supports the Trump proposal. “Go back, wait in line, do it the right way.”

Third Comment by Evans on Mass Deportations

Evans was asked again about mass deportations at a June 1 primary debate between GOP candidates for Colorado’s 8th Congressional District 9CD8 at the Grizzly Rose. It again took a follow-up question to force a clear answer.

Moderator: Donald Trump proposes staging mass deportations using local police, the National Guard, and potentially the military to round up undocumented residents. Do you support this policy? And how do you think it will impact the local communities and the 8th District’s economy including agriculture?

Evans: Of the three things you listed, police, National Guard, U.S. Army, military, I have done all of those things. But more than that, the story of my family is the story of immigrants. My grandfather, my abuelito, he was born in Mexico. He immigrated to this country, and he earned his citizenship, along with two purple hearts, fighting in World War II. He earned his citizenship the right way. And so as a police officer, as a military veteran, I know that the first thing we have to do is secure the border. Until the border is secured, do not pass go, do not collect $200. We need to re-institute things like remain in Mexico. We need to build more border wall. We need to empower our local law enforcement officers to be able to follow the laws we have in place right now. The problem is, the leftists that are in control of our country and our state are doing things to handcuff the hands of law enforcement. In Colorado, they have actually prohibited law enforcement from even being able to interact with their federal counterparts. When I was a police officer, if I pull somebody over whom I suspect is not only illegally in the country but is illegally in the country committing crimes. After we secure the border, then yes, you need to go, you need to wait in line, you need to do it the right way, and we need to focus on getting the criminals and the cartels that are causing problems in our society out of our society even now. That is where we need to start, making sure that these folks are not allowed in our society.

Moderator: But not everyone’s a criminal. So how do you distinguish between who you are going to round up and who you’re not?

Evans: So, again, as a police officer, we have a pretty good idea of who’s in the country working, not causing problems and who is in the country selling fentanyl, selling drugs, going to the Home Depot stealing [garbled] batteries. These are all things that I’ve personally worked with. The problem is, we kow who the folks who are in our country illegally are. And because of leftist defund-the-police policies and because of leftist open border and sanctuary city and state policies, law enforcement at all levels cannot go out and do their job, arrest those individuals, hold them accountable, and ultimately either put them where they belong, which is behind bars if they are causing violent problems in our community or send them out of the country. We know who they are.

Moderator: Before we move on. That’s not President Trump’s proposed policy. He says deport them all. Mr. Joshi says deport them all. Do you support that? And what effect would that have on the economy in the 8th CD, if he began doing that in January?

Evans: Yeah, so the 8th congressional district is a major agricultural producing district but we have to make sure that we’re drawing a distinction between the folks that are here illegally and the folks that do it the right way that are here on visas, the folks that have lawful permission to be able to work in the United States. It’s a critical part of the economy, so for those folks that do it the right way, we need to make sure that we’re streamlining that process so that the farmers in my district are able to be able to go out and have the manpower to be able to work their fields with folks who are lawfully here. If you are not lawfully here you need to go back; you need to wait in line. We need to make sure that we are distinguishing between those folks who are in our community causing crimes, causing violence, distributing fentanyl, distributing drugs — those are the people that we need to identify and remove first, but yeah you go back, and you wait in line the way everybody else does in a law-abiding society.” [CTR emphasis]

What Did Evans Say? If you’re a journalist covering this one, you’d report that he backs the mass deportation policy, as he said, in his final summation (“…yeah, you go back, and you wait in line the way everybody else does in a law-abiding society”).

Evans Confuses Journalists?

Evans’ circuitousness appears to confuse reporters, as articles on his stance are sometimes incomplete or possibly wrong.

Colorado Newsline clarified its June 1 reporting of the Grizzly Rose debate to state that after prodding Evans said he supports Trump’s mass deportation plan. Initially, the news site stated that Evans did not answer the question about mass deportation directly but would not object to Trump’s use of military and other tactics to enforce his program.

In a profile last week of Evans’ primary race against former lawmaker Janak Joshi, The Denver Post reported an accurate but incomplete answer from Evans: “On immigration, [Joshi] supports a ‘deport-them-all’ strategy while Evans, the 37-year-old grandson of an immigrant from Mexico, says deportation should be prioritized for the ‘ones who are committing crimes’ in the United States.”

As he said in his debate answers, Evans would in fact deport criminals first but he favors mass deportation as well. The Post should have stated that he eventually wants to deport all undocumented residents.

In a piece published yesterday, Colorado Public Radio (CPR) reported that Evans opposes mass deportation. If true, this would be a new stance and should have been reported as a flip.

The CPR piece states, “On immigration, Evans calls for ‘securing the border’ but not mass deportation. ‘We need to let our law enforcement prioritize those folks who are illegally in our country that are committing other crimes,’ Evans said.”

Colorado’s 8th Congressional District seat is currently occupied by Democrat Yadira Caraveo, who is the first member of Congress to represent the district, which was created in Colorado after the 2020 U.S. Census.

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