If violence erupts on Texas border, blame Greg Abbott, Democratic lawmakers say

Lawmakers, including San Antonio's Joaquin Castro and Greg Casar made their warning ahead of this weekend's 'Take Back Our Border' rally.

click to enlarge Democratic lawmakers warned on a press call that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's anti-immigrant rhetoric could prompt people to unleash violence. - Instagram / governorabbott
Instagram / governorabbott
Democratic lawmakers warned on a press call that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's anti-immigrant rhetoric could prompt people to unleash violence.
As right-wing extremists on South Texas for this weekend's "Take Back Our Border Rally," Texas Democrats aren't mincing words when it comes to who bears responsibility should violence break out.

"Gov. [Greg] Abbott is ignoring the [U.S.] Supreme Court decision and trying to create a standoff against the federal government because he wants to create chaos," U.S. Rep. Greg Casar, a Democrat whose district includes parts of San Antonio, said in a press call on Thursday. "He wants to create fear and blame immigrants for our problems, which really are problems that our governor has been neglecting his entire time in office."

On that same call, U.S. Reps. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, and Veronica Escobar, D-El Paso, agreed that if this weekend's gathering, which has drawn travelers from all over the country, takes a violent turn, it's a result of Abbott's dehumanizing rhetoric towards migrants.

"On the dias on the judiciary committee, my Republican colleagues continue to use the very same language used by the man who massacred so many in my community," Escobar said, referring to the gunman who killed 23 in a racially motivated attack against Latinos in 2019.

Escobar continued: "What was once a dog whistle and whispers are now fully out in the open, and the Republican Party has not just embraced that hatred and xenophobia, but are actively championing and cheering on that very dangerous behavior that we saw on Jan. 6, and I have very significant fear for border communities and what will come as a result on that hate and language."

The comments from the three Texas Democrats came after a convoy of self-described "patriots" arrived in the Hill Country town of Dripping Springs Wednesday night. The group is holding a Thursday "pep rally" at a whiskey distillery before continuing their journey to Eagle Pass for the "Save Our Border" rally.

"The Republican politicians who are currently encouraging a standoff at the southern border are undermining public safety and risking an escalation that could easily become deadly for asylum seekers, Border Patrol agents and innocent citizens who get caught in the crossfire," Castro said of the planned rally.

The convoy members appears appear peaceful so far, according to news reports. However, the Democratic lawmakers warned that the rhetoric spouted by some of those traveling for the rally echoes the "invasion" rhetoric used by people such as the El Paso shooter.

In a recent clip shared online, Hernando Arce — a self-proclaimed citizen journalist traveling to South Texas for the rally — stood outside San Antonio's Migrant Resource center, which he referred to as the  "American Replacement Center." Arce's renaming of the center is spin on a racist conspiracy theory that "globalists" are trying to replace Anglo Americans with people of color.

"As you can see behind me, we have dozens of illegal aliens here around the perimeter of the facility," Arce says in the video, which shows seven or so migrants meandering in the background minding their own business.

Heidi Beirich, co-founder of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, joined the three Texas Democrats on their press call. She blamed Abbott for bringing anti-immigrant rhetoric and conspiracy theories into the mainstream.

"There's no doubt that the fear-mongering by elected officials like Abbott are contributing to this dangerous situation,"  "Langauge accusing immigrants for invading the U.S. and replacing citizens, the great replacement, white supremacist talking points that figures like Abbott are mainstreaming, has already led to the deadly violence that we saw at an El Paso Walmart in 2019."

Subscribe to SA Current newsletters.

Follow us: Apple News | Google News | NewsBreak | Reddit | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter| Or sign up for our RSS Feed


Since 1986, the SA Current has served as the free, independent voice of San Antonio, and we want to keep it that way.

Becoming an SA Current Supporter for as little as $5 a month allows us to continue offering readers access to our coverage of local news, food, nightlife, events, and culture with no paywalls.

Join today to keep San Antonio Current.

Scroll to read more Texas News articles

Michael Karlis

Michael Karlis is a Staff Writer at the San Antonio Current. He is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., whose work has been featured in Salon, Alternet, Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, Orlando Weekly, NewsBreak, 420 Magazine and Mexico Travel Today. He reports primarily on breaking news, politics...

Join SA Current Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.