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'He is not welcome here': El Paso congresswoman tells Trump to stay away

Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX) wants Trump to stay away from her city while they deal with the aftermath of a tragic mass shooting.

By Dan Desai Martin - August 05, 2019
Rep. Veronica Escobar

In the aftermath of Saturday’s deadly shooting in El Paso, the city congresswoman had a simple message for Trump: Stay away.

On Monday morning, Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX) told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that Trump “should not come here while we are in mourning.”

“From my perspective, he is not welcome here,” she added.

“Words have consequences. And the president has made my community and my people the enemy,” Escobar said. “He has told the country that we are people to be feared, people to be hated.”

On Saturday, a white supremacist gunman walked into a Walmart in El Paso and killed 20 people while injuring many more. Earlier in the interview, Escobar described an infant who is in the hospital with broken bones because her mother fell on top of her while shielding her with her own body. Both the mother and father of the child died from gunshot wounds, leaving the child they saved an orphan.

In the interview, Escobar demanded Trump take responsibility for his rhetoric.

Escobar noted a study showing hate crimes increase in cities where Trump holds a campaign rally. That study showed a 226% increase in hate crimes in cities where Trump held campaign rallies in 2015 and 2016.

Trump “came into one of the safest communities in the nation,” Escobar said, referring to a February 2019 campaign rally. “Months later a gunman came into our community, someone from outside of this community came into this beautiful, tranquil, loving place to do us harm.”

In pushing her case to keep Trump away from El Paso, Escobar encouraged White House staff to “show [Trump] his own words and his actions at the rallies. Because we’re not going to get past this until there’s acknowledgment from the very top that we need to heal.”

She noted Trump bears responsibility for the “bigotry and racism and hatred that has been stoked at all levels.”

Beyond inciting hate and violence, Trump has a troubled past with El Paso. His campaign refuses to reimburse the city for almost half a million dollars in expenses related to his February campaign rally. The bulk of that money is owed to the El Paso Police Department, the very officers Trump praised for their response to Saturday’s shooting.

Trump “needs to accept responsibility … for what has gotten us to this point,” Escobar added. And in her view, the best thing Trump can do to help El Paso heal is to stay far, far away.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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