Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) apologized Thursday for a fundraising email that called on supporters to “defend Texas” from undocumented immigrants.
“Mistakes were made, and a course correction has been made. And I emphasize the importance of making sure that rhetoric will not be used in any dangerous way, and we will make sure we work collaboratively,” Abbot said of the letter, which was dated the day before a gunman killed 22 people in El Paso in an attack the shooter said was in response to a “Hispanic invasion.”
A slate of Hispanic lawmakers derided the letter as racist.
“If Greg Abbott ever wonders why there is so much hate and anger toward Mexicans and immigrants, he should take a long look at his rhetoric, policies and now his mailer,” Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) tweeted.
“Our community is trying to heal from racially driven violence. This hurts. It is dangerous,” state Rep. Joe Moody (D-El Paso) added Friday.
Abbott also raised eyebrows for a tweet saying that “liberals” on the Supreme Court were forcing Texas to “provide and fund public education for illegal immigrants.”
Increased scrutiny has been paid to state and national lawmakers’ rhetoric following the shooting in El Paso, with Democrats focusing much of their ire on President Trump and his hardline immigration policies.