Thursday, November 14, 2019

Latino lawmakers slam Texas governor for anti-Latino and anti-immigrant language

In the wake of the El Paso domestic terror attack, lawmakers and Democrats, many of them Latino, are slamming language used by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in a tweet and a fundraising letter as anti-Latino and anti-immigrant.

On Friday, members of the state’s El Paso legislative delegation and the Mexican American Legislative Caucus condemned Abbott’s language on a Twitter thread in which Abbott said the state has been forced to pay for the education of “illegal immigrants.” “Our community is trying to heal from racially driven violence. This hurts. It is dangerous,” the El Paso state lawmakers tweeted individually from their accounts.

The caucus went further, saying the “attack on a child’s right to an education is immoral and infuriating, regardless of citizenship status”, and said Abbot has “demonized” the immigrant community “since day one” and “fueled the widespread hate towards our Latino family.” The backlash over Abbott’s tweet comes the day after the governor held a roundtable on the El Paso attack that left 22 people dead.

It also comes amid outrage over a fundraising letter dated the day before the Aug. 3 attack; in it Abbott decries illegal immigration and calls on supporters to “DEFEND Texas.” In the United States, children cannot be turned away from schools based on their immigration status after the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Plyler v. Doe, which Abbott mentions in his tweet.

U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, whose district is El Paso, criticized Abbott for his letter in a tweet Thursday. “If Greg Abbott ever wonders why there is so much hate and anger toward Mexicans and immigrants, he should take a long look at his rhetoric, policies and now his mailer,” she said.

NBC NEWS