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El Paso leaders fear Abbott’s migrant ‘invasion’ talk will incite violence

EL PASO, Texas -- El Paso political leaders and immigration rights advocates are condemning Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick for describing immigrants crossing the border as an “invasion” this week, calling the rhetoric “dangerous” to Latino communities while pointing out that it mirrors language used by the accused Walmart shooter two years ago.

“We are being invaded,” Patrick said at a press conference about Abbott’s border wall plans. “That term has been used in the past, but it has never been more true.”

Abbott said that “homes are being invaded” as he announced the state would be spending an initial $250 million to construct a barrier at the state’s southern border with Mexico. He repeated the sentiment at a signing ceremony for several gun bills too, saying property owners along the border are being “invaded.”

“State leaders disavowed this kind of language after that racially motivated massacre, but now that the bodies are cold, here we go again,” said state Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso. “The border isn’t a political football. There are no invaders here — only people.”

Neither Abbott’s nor Patrick’s office responded to requests for comment.

Congresswoman Veronica Escobar, D-El Paso, condemned Abbott’s and Patrick’s remarks in a tweet shortly after the border press conference.

“If people die again, blood will be on your hands,” Escobar wrote.

The 2019 shooting at the El Paso Cielo Vista Walmart store, which left 23 people dead, is described as one of the deadliest anti-Latino attacks in recent U.S. history. Within hours of the shooting, law enforcement officials had found a message from the alleged gunman saying the attack was “in response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.” Of those killed, seven were of Mexican descent.

Abbott denounced the attack as domestic terrorism and the act of a white supremacist. He also appeared ready to soften his own rhetoric about immigration, saying after the shooting that “mistakes were made” in using language in a fundraising letter that called to “defend” the Texas border. It was published a day before the El Paso shooting.

“Unless you and I want liberals to succeed in their plan to transform Texas — and our entire country — through illegal immigration, this is a message we MUST send,” Abbott wrote in the fundraising appeal.

After the shooting, Abbott emphasized conversations he’d had with El Paso officials discussing “the importance of making sure that rhetoric will not be used in any dangerous way.”

“I did get the chance to visit with the El Paso delegation and help them understand that mistakes were made and course correction has been made,” he said, referring to the language used in the fundraising letter.

Mario Carrillo, an immigrant rights activist who grew up in El Paso, said there was no excuse for officials like Abbott and Patrick to repeat the language this week, given their conversations after the El Paso shooting.

“They can’t claim ignorance and say they didn’t know this language could potentially lead to violence because it happened before,” he said. “I wish elected officials thought more about their words because those words have consequences. Are there others that read or listen to remarks like that and think, ‘Well, I don’t want our country to be invaded, so I’m going to take things into my own hands’?”

The repetition of the word “invasion” to describe immigrants is similar to messaging employed by former President Donald Trump. Out of 64 rallies he attended where he discussed immigration, Trump used the term at least 19 times. He also used words such as “killer,” “criminal” and “animal” to refer to immigrants, according to an analysis from USA Today shortly after the El Paso shooting.

Patrick linked immigrants to future criminal behavior at the Wednesday press conference. He hypothesized about what would happen to a 14-year-old boy who comes from Central America, doesn’t speak English and is behind in school.

“What does he do when he comes to America? They just let him go free,” Patrick said. “You can’t put a 14-year-old in a fifth grade class. What is his future? Crime, low wages. No future.”

State Rep. Lina Ortega, D-El Paso, said making those kinds of comparisons diminishes how integral immigrants are in the U.S. and the role they play in helping the country’s economy grow. She said she thinks Abbott and Patrick owe Texans an apology.

“We are basically being slapped in the face and being placed in the category that we don’t deserve to be in,” Ortega said. “I mean we are productive citizens of the state of Texas.”

State Rep. Art Fierro, D-El Paso, said that kind of language incites violence, such as the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol earlier this year.

“This is exactly what happens when you fire up people and get them believing that the words coming out of your mouth are not political, but they’re really what you believe,” Fierro said.

With so much attention on border communities, Carrillo said he fears elected officials could be placing the citizens of other border towns at risk.

“When I think of what happened in El Paso, the shooter didn’t ask for citizenship status on the people he killed,” said Carrillo, a naturalized citizen who is campaigns manager for America’s Voice, an immigrant rights group. “People along the border, the vast majority are going to be Latino, so I don’t know how they’re going to differentiate. Something like El Paso could unfortunately happen again if we continue down this path.”

El Paso / Local News / News / Politics / Texas / Texas Politics / Top Stories / Video

Texas Tribune

Comments

56 Comments

  1. Leftist propaganda from the Texas Tribune. When you have open borders and an invitation from dementia Joe Biden they come en masse therefore it is an invasion. The majority of Americans and El Pasoans are against illegal immigration. Governor Abbott is a true leader concerned with our welfare and security. El Paso doesn’t have any real leadership only progressive liberal schills with their disastrous partisan talking points. Their leftist political rhetoric and support for illegal immigration is what brought the Walmart shooter to town and kill people.

    1. Now Chico, don’t get your little mermaid panties in a bunch! We all know you you’re still waiting on Prince charming to cum and sweep you off your feet, kiss the tiquana toad, and you can live happily ever after in fairyland. A land where your kind, chicoBELLS can cross the waters to NEVER-in-your-fucking-mind-LAND!!?

  2. Harriet Tubman would be proud of these leaderless ‘invaders’ seeking the ‘Underground Railroad’ to northbound freedom & prosperity.

  3. escobar is plugging for a pension, she knows she’s not smart enough to be employed in the private sector so she goes to Washington and specializes in on your knees lobbying because she knows her gig won’t last long, like beto the idiot.

    1. The same alberto that lives in Section 8 housing?
      The same alberto that has never had a career, even he is in his mid-60’s?
      The same alberto that got an “Other Than Honorable” discharge from the military?
      The same alberto that has drug arrests in El Paso?

    1. The same alberto that lives in Section 8 housing?
      The same alberto that has never had a career, even he is in his mid-60’s?
      The same alberto that got an “Other Than Honorable” discharge from the military?
      The same alberto that has drug arrests in El Paso?

    1. Pesos??? That’s about 14,510.59 US you dumb poChit! That’s what stocking shelves at food king pays? Or is it the after hours shift at 7-11? That’s why you post shit at such fucked up hours… You’re on break. GET TO WORK and stock those cans of refried beans!

      1. Truth/Chlamydia, it’s so obvious you shop at Food King and only morons with minimal education like you are MAGAsses.

        #NeverTrumper4Life
        #MAGAssesSuckIt

        1. You must have me mistaken with YOUR vp… CHLAMYDIA HARRIS, aka heels up Harris. Mia, what a name! I knew a Mia, and BOY COULD SHE SUCK. PRETTY LITTLE BROWNISH GIRL! But you sound like you prefer grool! So clean the corners of your mouth and SHUT THE FUCK UP!

      2. Ha ha. I live in a gated community and you live off base in the RV park along all the white poor pedophiles. Oh by the way, I toss chicken nuggets to your family members in street corners. Mfers chasing them like zoo monkeys when we toss popcorn.

        1. Alberto aren’t you that fat ugly hobo that operates on the corner of Yarbrough and Vista Del Sol? No one gives you anything. Ridgemar Apartments is a gat6ed community? Good laugh.

        2. The same alberto that lives in Section 8 housing?
          The same alberto that has never had a career, even he is in his mid-60’s?
          The same alberto that got an “Other Than Honorable” discharge from the military?
          The same alberto that has drug arrests in El Paso?

  4. The only invasion going are the MAGAsses committing mass shootings when they can’t have their way. Psychotic white men (not immigrants, Muslims, or BLM) remain the biggest threat to everyone’s safety from violent acts (Jan 6 insurrection)to BS political rhetoric (Tramp, Abbott, etc). Thank God it’s only the evil and wicked who support this BS.

        1. Yes they aren’t welcomed here. Local Trumpers are hermits. Weak white dna. No gun no balls. Why they hide behind a trigger. Weak dna mfers. Puros gringos Mamilas. Bola de culitos.

    1. Fero/ chico.. you know you should really HATE WHITE BOY biden since you’re so RACIST! and let’s say pretending you made that much money, biden would be TAXING YOU UP THE ASS. Maybe you like it. Thumbs up! Tell your Mia PIA DIARRHEA 💩 other psycho persona to 🤐!

  5. Truthwhitecaca is your traditional pan handler mfer. I don’t give shit to those maggots. You all white cunts can feed them.

  6. Enforcing BORDER LAWS, U.S. SOVEREIGNTY “might incite violence.”
    .
    …Simultaneously, the Bidumb Reich openly invites RAPISTS, MURDERERS, DRUG DEALERS and HUMAN TRAFFICKERS into our country.
    .
    What bizzaro clowns, these Democrats.

    1. The Republicans are taking back the House and Senate. It’s not a matter of if but by how much. How’s that turning Texas blue working out for you Demoturds?

        1. Of course. It keeps their web site ratings up especially when over 10 of us razz Alberto’s lazy fat ass. Then watch all his aliases pop out of the woodwork. You can’t buy entertainment like this. LMAO.

  7. The Border Patrol supports the wall. We need to listen to the experts.
    Build the wall and build it tall.
    The government needs to prosecute any trespasser who enters our country illegally.

    1. I have three friends who are Border Patrol officers. They disagree with you that the wall works. In fact, they find such statements hilarious.

      1. Charlie Dumbo lying as usual. You don’t have any friends nitwit especially any LEO. The only friends Alberto has are his schizo psycho friends in his mentally diseased head. BTW – The wall works.

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