The following is what Congressional Hispanic Caucus chair Rep. Joaquin Castro said Tuesday night about President Trump’s Oval Office address (the remarks were shared by the CHC):
“Hey everybody. Well, we’re still here at the office. We stayed late to watch President Trump’s address on the border wall. And I’m here with some of the members of the staff and also with some of the folks from the CHC, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
“Ben Thomas is my Legislative Director. So, as we’ve been going through the different legislation on possibly ending the government shutdown and reviewing that, including the legislation that we actually passed last week out of the House of Representatives. Ben, of course, is taking the lead on it and analyzing in what it would do. And then Alma Acosta, who’s the executive director of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and Sandra Alcala, who’s also with the Hispanic Caucus.
“We just got back yesterday from a trip to the border. We’ve been to the border to visit Border Patrol stations twice in the last month. The first time was about three weeks ago.
“We were over at two places, Antelope Wells in New Mexico, and then the Lordsburg Border Patrol Station, where Jakelin, the young girl from Guatemala, died in Border Patrol custody.
“And then the second visit yesterday was to another part of New Mexico, also fairly remote, out on the border of New Mexico. And that is where Felipe Gomez Alonzo, an eight-year-old boy, Guatemalan boy, where he passed away in Border Patrol custody.
“So, tonight I thought we would hear something about that from the President. But also about how he plans to end the government shutdown. And I didn’t hear anything about that. In fact, I didn’t hear anything about a way forward.
“Now remember: part of the reason, well, it’s important because you’ve got thousands of American workers right now who are working without pay. And this next paycheck, many of them are very likely to get probably partial pay or perhaps no pay. So finding a way out of this is the most important thing and I didn’t hear anything about that.
“And the President doesn’t seem to have a plan to end this thing. And he keeps insisting that it’s the Democrats fault. You know that, there’s this crisis at the border. Y’all saw that he talked a lot, basically, about the evils of immigration. He played again, once again, to fearmongering and scapegoating.
“And you know I just sent out a tweet, I just wrote something on Twitter, about how this really, he seems determined to repeat kind of the worst chapters in American history. Trying to use the evils that are committed by a small number of individuals and generalize that to apply to everybody that’s part of that group. And unfortunately in American history, and really in world history, we’ve seen leaders and nations do that before with devastating effects. So, and, what did you guys see?”
It’s as if Donald Trump is determined to repeat the worst chapters in American history. He continues to paint a picture of immigrants as rapists, murderers, criminals. All fear.
— Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) January 9, 2019