(Reuters) - An Arizona congressional candidate at a protest mistook a busload of YMCA campers for undocumented immigrant children on Tuesday, according to a report on The Arizona Republic website, azcentral.com.
Adam Kwasman, a Republican state representative who favors stronger border controls, had joined a group of people in the town of Oracle protesting the expected arrival of migrant children, according to a report on The Arizona Republic website, azcentral.com.
The demonstrators complain that the federal government’s response to the increase in new arrivals from Central America was putting their communities at risk.
Kwasman tweeted from the scene “Bus coming in. This is not compassion. This is the abrogation of the rule of law,” according to the website.
Kwasman later said, “I was able to actually to see some of the children in the buses. And the fear on their faces ... This is not compassion,” according to video broadcast on the site.
Told by a reporter that the children on the yellow school bus were actually YMCA campers, Kwasman said, “They were sad, too,” and admitted he made a mistake.
He deleted his tweet, which can be found on Politwoops, a website that features U.S. politicians’ deleted tweets.
Protesters expected the migrant children to arrive in Oracle for processing at a center near the border before being sent home, but no bus with migrants arrived on Tuesday.
Kwasman was not immediately available for comment on Wednesday. He is running in the Republican primary for Congress against Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin and businessman Gary Kiehne. The winner will face Democratic Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick in the general election.
Reporting by Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Phil Berlowitz