News Column

Ariz. GOP Candidate Mistakes YMCA Campers for Undocumented Kids

July 16, 2014

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Screenshot from Politwoops
Screenshot from Politwoops

A Republican congressional candidate got a chance to protest as busloads of undocumented immigrant children were taken to a shelter near Oracle, Arizona.

"I was actually able to see some of the children in the buses," lamented Adam Kwasman, a state legislator. "The fear on their faces.... This is not compassion."

The only problem? The children weren't migrants: They were local students going to summer camp.

Protesters in Pinal County had gathered Tuesday afternoon to express their disapproval over the government's response to the influx of children entering the country fleeing violence from Central America. Between 40 and 60 children were destined for the Sycamore Canyon Academy, a boys ranch in the Catalina Mountains, but they never showed.

The Department of Health and Human Services, responsible for caring for migrant children once they've been processed, had no immediate word on where the children were taken instead.

When the buses of school children, actually from the Marana school district and heading to the YMCA Triangle Y Camp, arrived Kwasman raced over and tweeted a picture of the back of the yellow bus.

When Kwasman was confronted by a reporter with the truth -- that these were local children -- he said: "Well, they were sad too."

Other eyewitnesses said the children were seen laughing and taking pictures of the protesters.

Kwasman deleted the tweet about two hours later.

Screenshot from Politwoops.

Kwasman is running for the 1st Congressional District, and will face state House Speaker Andy Tobin and businessman Gary Kiehne in the Republican primary. The winner will face incumbent Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, a Democrat.

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Original headline: Adam Kwasman mistakes YMCA campers for undocumented children


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