WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nexstar) — The El Paso Walmart shooter who murdered 22 people and injured dozens more made clear he wanted to kill Mexicans who were “invading” America.
Lawmakers say that language echoed some of President Trump’s speeches about immigration and on Friday, they held a hearing on whether his words are encouraging violence against immigrants.
Democratic Congresswoman Veronica Escobar says there is no better place to talk about domestic terrorism aimed at immigrants than her hometown of El Paso.
Escobar says Trump’s words are hurtful.
“He’s called immigrants animals, and the rhetoric has only escalated over time,” says Escobar. “The terrorist confessed that he came to El Paso to ‘target Mexicans and immigrants.”
New York Democrat Jerry Nadler says the President’s anti-immigrant rhetoric has turned into anti-immigrant policies.
“I wonder what the source of his ideas were,” says Nadler of the El Paso shooter.
Notably absent from Friday’s hearing were Republicans — the hearing was not an official committee event nor was attendance mandatory.
Texas Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee says her Republican colleagues were invited to the hearing, but declined.
“It is not a partisan issue that we are discussing here, it is to protect American citizens,” says Jackson Lee.
Republicans will get a chance make their voices heard next week when congress returns the Capitol from its summer recess.