Rep. Veronica Escobar of Texas said President Trump ‘is not welcome’ in her hometown of El Paso, after the mass shooting on Saturday, August 3, left 22 people dead and dozens more injured.
According to Escobar, Trump’s words and actions surrounding Latinos and immigrants played a role in the shooting, saying ‘the president has made my community and my people the enemy’.
El Paso has been in the centre of a tense political situation due to the nearby detention facility on the border of the US and Mexico, and the treatment of migrants there.
Escobar, a Democrat whose district covers almost all of El Paso, told MSNBC, via INSIDER:
From my perspective, [Trump] is not welcome here. He should not come here while we are in mourning.
I would encourage the president’s staff members to have him do a little self-reflection. I would encourage them to show him his own words and his actions at the rallies.
Words have consequences, and the president has made my community and my people the enemy.
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.
Democrat Beto O’Rourke, a former Texas Representative and now 2020 presidential hopeful, mirrored Escobar’s views, saying Trump should not come to the city.
O’Rourke said, via Politico:
[Trump] helped to create what we saw in El Paso on Saturday. He’s helped to produce the suffering that we are experiencing right now. This community needs to heal.
The FBI are currently investigating an anti-immigration manifesto, believed to be written by the shooter responsible for the El Paso attack, which is reportedly filled with white supremacist language.
According to reports, the manifesto described both documented and undocumented immigrants as ‘invaders’ and feared they would turn Texas into a ‘Democratic stronghold’ – a phrase the president used when advocating the border wall.
Only a racist, driven by fear, could witness what took place this weekend—and instead of standing up to hatred, side with a mass murderer's call to make our country more white. We are so much better than this president. https://t.co/SYMT77fbOf
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) August 5, 2019
After the shooting in El Paso, O’Rourke told CNN Trump espoused ‘anti-immigrant rhetoric’, encouraged ‘racist rhetoric’ and is the person ‘most responsible’ for intolerance and racism in America.
While Veronica Escobar added:
Hispanic people have been dehumanized — they have been dehumanized by the president, by his enablers, by other politicians.
This is one of the lowest points in American history, and if we don’t recognize this as such, we will not have the turning point that we so desperately need as a country.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.