LULAC Analysis: Texas Governor’s Tactics And Lt. Governor’s Code Words Create A Dangerous Police State Climate For Latinos
Nation’s Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Says State’s Top Officials Are Escalating the Risk of Racial Profiling and Vigilante Actions Against Migrants and Others
Washington, DC - The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) issued the following statement concerning a weeklong series of coordinated pronouncements by Texas' two top elected officials targeting refugees crossing the border from Mexico. Governor Greg Abbott and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, speaking in unrelated settings, called the influx an "invasion." Governor Abbott issued an executive order authorizing Texas state troopers and the national guard to locate and deport undocumented migrants statewide. Lt. Governor Patrick ramped up the threat in a televised interview, where he repeatedly urged, "we need to put the hands on people and start sending them back," referring to the refugees seeking asylum in the United States.
Domingo Garcia – LULAC National President
"We are calling upon the US Attorney General and County District Attorneys along the US-Mexico border in Texas to investigate Governor Abbott and Lt. Governor Patrick for possible criminal and civil violations of federal and state law. LULAC asserts it is illegal for Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers and Texas National Guard troops to detain or arrest immigrant men, women, and children and deport them without due process. This is Wild West xenophobia at its worst. Also, LULAC asks all loyal Americans and Texans to record and send to federal law enforcement any illegal actions they witness by DPS and state guardsmen as evidence for possible criminal prosecution and civil rights lawsuits. Fear mongering and scapegoating the 'other' are not the acts of Christians, Texans, or Americans. Eagle Pass, Del Río, and other border communities do not have the humanitarian resources to deal with families being used as political piñatas by self-proclaimed righteous politicians. This is an abuse of authority and a waste of Texas taxpayer money.”
Linda Chavez – LULAC National Board Member and Vice-President for the Southwest
"We are in a full-scale, all-out fight between two very different ideals of what America is when it comes to hungry, scared, and exhausted men, women, and children fleeing danger and suffering. LULAC believes we need to help them because they are the casualties of a broken immigration system that denies them lawful entry. They are caught in a humanitarian crisis and pose no threat to anyone else. I am saddened by the senseless persecution of these innocent souls."
Rodolfo Rosales Jr. – Texas LULAC State Director
"Governor Abbott and Lt. Governor Patrick are declaring open season on defenseless migrants and endangering millions of other Latinos and others who will be profiled along the way. These actions are dangerous and will not end well. I fear what is ahead in our state as Texans allow hatred and racial bigotry to take over."
Lydia Guzman – LULAC National Immigration Chair
"This type of political rhetoric is like throwing gasoline on the flames of hate and hate groups. We should all be outraged at this gas lighting. It squarely puts a target on our backs by inciting violence against us. Just look at the shooting in El Paso where someone acted on gas lighting statements and drove to El Paso to shoot Mexicans in the Wal-Mart.”
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit https://lulac.org/