Local officials react to Abbott, Trump visit to Rio Grande Valley
Local officials are reacting to Gov. Greg Abbott's visit to the Rio Grande Valley.
Read their full statements below:
Congressman Filemon Vela:
“Governor Abbott and former President Donald Trump are once again trying to draw attention away from their failed leadership. The state of Texas has gone through so much this past year, the pandemic, the massive power outages that resulted in so many lives lost, and now an unemployment rate that is double what we saw before the virus. Instead of prioritizing Texans and making sure we grow our economy and get people back to work, Governor Abbott is creating a distracting media circus with a failed former president. Let’s make one thing clear: the narrative of a violent and insecure border region is blatantly false. The border is not a war zone, and the wall Abbott and Trump are trying to get Texans to pay for is not only a waste of their hard-earned money but also an un-American symbol of hatred that separates and intimidates our communities, harms our wildlife, and encroaches on landowner rights. Americans spoke loud and clear last November when they overwhelmingly voted to oust Donald Trump and his “BUILD THE WALL” mantra. Abbott needs to get the message, drop the antics, and get to work on the issues that matter to Texans.”
Congressman Vicente Gonzalez:
“Inviting the former President, who incited the January 6th insurrection in an effort to overthrow the government and prevent the peaceful transition of power, is nothing short of a slap in the face to South Texans. And wasting taxpayer dollars to promote the construction of a border wall instead of correcting the failed electrical grid is bad leadership that is further putting Texans’ lives at risk. Instead of coming down to try and divide people by misrepresenting the border community on the national stage, I urge the Governor to work together to enact meaningful policy solutions that will bring real border security. In order for us to stem mass migration, we must look at the three Central American countries people are coming from and make surgical investments that will provide jobs, security and prosperity to encourage migrants to stay home.”
State Rep. Armando “Mando” Martinez (D-Weslaco):
“Texans in the Rio Grande Valley deserve real policy solutions for the serious problems we face. My constituents need affordable health care. We need improved transportation infrastructure and flood management systems. We need reliable access to clean water.
“For the governor to demand legislators’ attention and taxpayers’ money for a border wall when so many people in the area lack fundamental services is a slap in the face. Once again, Gov. Abbott is playing politics for his own personal gain, and everyday Texans will pay the price.”
LULAC National President Domingo Garcia:
"Texas Governor Greg Abbott and former President Trump should be ashamed of how they are militarizing, via their words and actions, the border with a friendly neighbor like Mexico. Neither political grandstanding nor illegal use of private property and state law enforcement, will change why immigrants are coming to the U.S.
Trump had four years to fix America’s immigration issues and failed miserably. His lies that he would build a wall and Mexico would pay for it, were just political hot air. He tricked Americans into blaming ‘the other’ instead of his tax cuts for the rich and the reason for income inequality in our country.
LULAC condemns Governor Abbott’s proposed use of the Dolph Briscoe Prison Unit in Dilley, Texas to jail families and children seeking refuge in the United States. It is appalling in 2021 that any politician would resort to gutterball politics like this and to appease a disgraced former president. Donald Trump’s visit to the Río Grande Valley today brings his ugly, tribal, racist, divisive tactics that have no place in a multicultural state like Texas.
LULAC plans to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice and the United Nations Commission on Human Rights regarding the proposed use of a prison unit to house children and refugees who are detained and arrested by a state governor and state police.
This action represents a pattern and practice of illegal conduct in furtherance of a right wing government agenda that is un-Christian and un-Texan. LULAC has been informed that Governor Abbott has ordered that the entire Briscoe felony prison unit be emptied out so all immigrants can be arrested in a scapegoat operation by DPS officers.
LULAC will ask President Biden to send federal troops to protect American citizens of Hispanic descent on the border who can be illegally profiled. Also, we are opposed to the mistreatment of immigrants as well as legal refugees who are trying to enter the country and are being arrested on trumped up false charges of trespassing by Governor Abbott and what we consider to be his illegal orders.”