Lawmaker not apologizing for illegal immigration comments - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Lawmaker not apologizing for illegal immigration comments

By Alan Collins

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A Jefferson County lawmaker is not apologizing for comments made over the weekend about illegal immigration.

Gardendale Senator Scott Beason was addressing Cullman County Republicans where he was quoted as saying, "Republicans need to empty the clip and do what needs to be done." Beason said the comment was taken out of context.

"I think the problem is it was totally taken out of context," Beason said.

Beason said he was criticizing Democrats for failing to address the problem.

"It was a metaphor about dealing with the same issue over and over until you solve the problem. That is what I was talking about. I was frankly surprised there is such a controversy over something was that was clear to everyone there," Beason said.

Isabel Rubio with the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama says there was a great deal of buzz about Beason's comments.

"We were discouraged and saddened that elected officials would use that sort of rhetoric in public or even in private to about any community." Rubio said.

Rubio says the recent violence in Arizona was linked to heated political rhetoric and that's why there was such concern about Beason.

"Arizona was definitely on our mind when we hear a quote of such a volatile nature," Rubio said.

Beason denied his comments were meant to incite violence.

"No, absolutely not. I would never do that. People are people. No one would advocate violence. I didn't do that," Beason said.

Beason says he does not back down from the comments because he does not want public officials to stop from commenting on controversial issues. But, the senator admits he probably will not make those comments again.

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