Congressman Tells 11-Year-Old Her Undocumented Dad Should Be Deported As People Cheer

Aug 20, 2013
9:08 AM

From the YouTube page of NDLON:

When Tennessee Rep. Scott Desjarlais announced he would hold a town hall on immigration, Josie decided to attend to seek his support even though it was at a tea party event of more than 200. Since her father was placed in deportation proceedings, she’s been going to therapy to deal with the anxiety.

Josie rose and took the mic, and in a trembling voice, said “Mr. Desjarlais, I have papers but my daddy doesn’t, what can you do to make sure he can stay?” Rep. Desjarlais rebuked her request to a round of applause from the audience, but Josie and her family will keep on fighting to stop his deportation.

Josie attended with 90 other Rutherford County residents from Tennessee Immigrant Refugee Rights Coalition who want to see just and inclusive reform.

Visit for updates and to support people fighting for their right to remain.

This is Tennessee Rep. Scott Desjarlais.


He spoke the night of August 13 in front a Tea Party crowd, which his profile announced on his Twitter. (Sidenote: we can never figure out how some members of Congress can write tweets in the first person and still be able to take such wide angle selfies.)

This is what people are saying about him and his comments. Some of the comments were reasonable:

Some of the comments were just nasty (back story here):

Meanwhile, DesJarlais talks about rules and laws, but when it comes to breaking some for football, all bets are off, as Nashville Scene explains:

You all may remember yesterday, when we learned that Scott DesJarlais would not help a little girl whose father is being deported because, “we have laws and we need to follow those laws and that’s where we’re at.”

It’s very sad and maybe not fair, but the rules are the rules. Well, the past is the past, I guess, even if it just happened, because now Scott DesJarlais is all about finding ways to work around the rules.

Over at The Tennessean, they’ve shared the letter DesJarlais wrote to the NCAA encouraging them to look again at the rule that is making Marine Sergeant Steven Rhodes ineligible to play football.

Unfortunately, due to an NCAA interpretation of bylaw, Rhodes has been deemed ineligible. While I think we would both agree that this particular rule and clause therein was never intended to punish or deter our nation’s military personnel from having the opportunity to participate in NCAA sanctioned athletic events, that is exactly the scenario that is currently unfolding.So, let me get this straight: An interpretation of a law that strips a little girl of her father — that’s just too bad, it’s just “where we’re at,” nothing to be done. An interpretation of a rule that makes a guy ineligible to play football and, by God, Scott DesJarlais is going to do something!