May 19, 2023 - Politics

Cox apologizes for calling lawmakers "imbeciles" over immigration reform

Gov. Spencer Cox answers questions during his monthly news conference at the the Eccles Broadcast Center in Salt Lake City on May 18. Photo: Rick Egan/Salt Lake Tribune/Pool

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R) issued an apology on Friday for using a "derogatory" term to characterize members of Congress, after accusing them of failing to pass immigration reform over the last four decades.

Driving the news: Cox's mea culpa comes one day after he called lawmakers "imbeciles," adding, "they should all get fired."

What he's saying: "As someone who tries to hold myself to a higher standard of dignity and civility, I should be better," Cox said on Twitter.

  • Cox, however, stood by the rest of his original statement, where he said: "All they want to do is get reelected by pointing fingers at each other and they divide us. They do it on purpose and it’s embarrassing."

Between the lines: Cox, a longtime proponent of increasing border security and welcoming refugees to the state, has stated there's bipartisan consensus on the need to repair the country's immigration system.

Context: The rebuke comes on the heels of Cox signing a letter, along with 23 other GOP governors this week, backing Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's strict border security efforts.

  • The letter followed the expiration of Title 42 last week, a Trump-era policy that allowed the U.S. to turn away immigrants amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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