Arizona Republican mistakes YMCA campers for immigrant children: ‘The fear on their faces’

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Republican congressional candidate and Arizona state legislator Adam Kwasman is backpedaling after he mistook a busload of happy YMCA campers for frightened immigrant children.

The tea party candidate arrived in Oracle Tuesday morning expecting the arrival of dozens of immigrant children at the Rite of Passage shelter, at the base of Mt. Lemmon, the Arizona Republic reported.

“Bus coming in. This is not compassion. This is the abrogation of the rule of law,” Mr. Kwasman tweeted at the scene as a yellow school bus approached.

“I was actually able to see some of the children in the buses. The fear on their faces. … This is not compassion,” he later told the Republic.

But it turns out the children were not immigrants, but campers from the Marana school district headed to the YMCA’s Triangle Y Ranch Camp, which offers horseback riding, archery and other fun-filled activities for children, ABC News reported.

The buses of immigrant children never showed up, the Republic reported.

Reporter Will Pitts said the campers were actually laughing and taking pictures of the media. Mr. Kwasman reportedly apologized after Mr. Pitts informed him of the error.

“OK, I apologize, I’m sorry. I didn’t know. I was leaving when I saw the school bus,” he said.

He also deleted his tweet and apologized on social media.

“Last tweet not the bus of illegal immigrant children. Thank God,” he said Tuesday afternoon. “I apologize for the confusion. That was my error.”

Mr. Kwasman is running in the 1st Congressional District Republican primary on July 28 against House Speaker Andy Tobin and businessman Gary Kiehne. The winner will face Democratic incumbent Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick.

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