Texas Democratic Rep. Veronica Escobar, while delivering the Democratic Party’s Spanish-language State of the Union response, tied President Donald Trump to a mass shooting that targeted Hispanic Americans.
After President Donald Trump delivered his State of the Union address before Congress on Tuesday night — and after Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gave the Democrats’ English-language response — Escobar delivered her party’s Spanish-language response. Speaking in a community health clinic in her hometown of El Paso, Escobar largely attacked the administration on health care, gun control, and the impeachment trial.
The first-term congresswoman also directly tied a 2019 mass shooting in El Paso, in which the alleged perpetrator targeted Hispanic people, to the president.
“Just before [the shooter] began his killing spree, he published his opinions on the Internet, and he used the same hateful words used by President Trump to describe immigrants and Latinos,” Escobar said in Spanish.
She was referencing the August 2019 shooting that took place in an El Paso Walmart. Alleged perpetrator Patrick Wood Crusius shot and killed 22 people, making it the deadliest mass shooting in the United States in 2019. Authorities linked a manifesto, posted online shortly before the attack, to the shooter.
The nearly 2,400-word manifesto was an anti-immigrant call to arms in which the author railed against the replacement of the native white population with Hispanics and other immigrants, and arguing that U.S. political leaders were doing nothing to stop the replacement of white people in the country. The author said he took “honor” in fighting for the future of the U.S. and Europe.
This is not entirely new rhetoric from the lawmaker, who replaced failed Texas Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke in the House. Immediately following the mass shooting in El Paso, Escobar said publicly that Trump was “not welcome” in her city.
During her Spanish address on Tuesday night, Escobar also attacked Trump for his immigration enforcement policies, and blamed him for the death of migrant children.
“From attacks against Dreamers, family separation, the deaths of migrant children, to the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy that sends asylum-seekers into dangerous situations, these are policies none of us ever imagined would happen in America in our lifetime,” she said.
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