- Rep. Veronica Escobar of Texas, who represents El Paso, said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that President Donald Trump wasn’t welcome in her community following the shooting that left at least 20 people dead and dozens injured.
- “Words have consequences, and the president has made my community and my people the enemy,” she said. “He has told the country that we are people to be feared, people to be hated. He has done that at his rallies. He has done that through his Twitter.”
- The FBI is investigating an anti-immigrant manifesto believed to be written by the El Paso shooter that mimics ideas espoused by the president.
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Rep. Veronica Escobar of Texas said on Monday that President Donald Trump’s words and actions concerning Latinos and immigrants played a role in Saturday’s shooting in her community that left at least 20 people dead and dozens injured.
The Texas Democrat, who represents El Paso, said that as residents mourn the dead and try to heal, Trump is “not welcome” in her city.
“Words have consequences, and the president has made my community and my people the enemy,” Escobar said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“He has told the country that we are people to be feared, people to be hated,” she said. “He has done that at his rallies. He has done that through his Twitter.”
The FBI is investigating an anti-immigrant manifesto filled with white supremacist language believed to be written by the El Paso shooter. While the manifesto said the beliefs “predate Trump,” it mimics ideas espoused by the president, the Republican Party, and Fox News. It described documented and undocumented immigrants as “invaders” who would turn Texas into a “Democratic stronghold,” a phrase used by the president to advocate a border wall.
Throughout his presidency, Trump has been accused of helping to legitimise anti-immigrant views, bringing them from the fringe to the mainstream. Even before entering the White House, he ran on a nativist platform that tapped into growing racial divisions.
In June 2015, when announcing his plan to build a wall along the US-Mexico border, he claimed that people crossing the border were bringing drugs and crime and were “rapists,” while “some, I assume, are good people.”
He has used rhetoric to dehumanize immigrants, filled his administration with people espousing anti-immigrant views, and enacted hardline policies designed to deport as many people as possible, while instilling widespread fear in immigrant communities across the country.
Several Democratic presidential candidates slammed Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric in the wake of the shootings over the weekend. Beto O’Rourke, a former Texas representative from El Paso, said on Sunday that Trump “doesn’t just tolerate it – he encourages it, calling immigrants rapists and criminals and seeking to ban all people of one religion.”
“These are white men motivated by the kind of fear that this president traffics in,” O’Rourke added.
In tweets early on Monday, the president linked gun-control measures with immigration reform but provided no details on how he would bring together those two issues.
“Hispanic people have been dehumanized – they have been dehumanized by the president, by his enablers, by other politicians,” Escobar said. “This is one of the lowest points in American history, and if we don’t recognise this as such, we will not have the turning point that we so desperately need as a country.”
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