By Cristina Marco
June 6, 2016
A Hispanic House Democrat who represents a Texas district bordering Mexico tore into Donald Trump's attacks on a Mexican-American judge, calling them blatantly racist.
Rep. Filemon Vela didn't mince words in a lengthy open letter to the presumptive GOP presidential nominee on Monday.
"Mr. Trump, you’re a racist and you can take your border wall and shove it up your ass," Vela wrote.
Vela begins the letter noting that he agrees with Trump that Mexico should do more to deter violence from drug cartels and that felons in the U.S. illegally should be deported. But he then excoriates the real estate mogul over his rhetoric about Hispanics, including Trump's assertion that an American-born federal judge of Mexican descent won't be impartial in a lawsuit against Trump University.
"[Y]our ignorant anti-immigrant opinions, your border wall rhetoric, and your recent bigoted attack on an American jurist are just plain despicable," Vela wrote.
"Your position with respect to the millions of undocumented Mexican workers who now live in this country is hateful, dehumanizing, and frankly shameful."
The second-term lawmaker noted his own Mexican roots and pointed out that his family immigrated to the U.S. before Trump's grandfather did from Germany.
"Before you dismiss me as just another 'Mexican,' let me point out that my great-great grandfather came to this country in 1857, well before your own grandfather. His grandchildren (my grandfather and his brothers) all served our country in World War I and World War II. His great-grandson, my father, served in the U.S. Army and, coincidentally, was one of the first 'Mexican' federal judges ever appointed to the federal bench," Vela wrote.
Trump on Sunday doubled down on his stance that Gonzalo Curiel, the judge overseeing class-action lawsuits against Trump University, would be biased due to the billionaire's campaign pledge to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The candidate similarly said that a Muslim judge "absolutely" might treat him unfairly because of his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S.
Many top GOP leaders have distanced themselves from Trump's racially charged comments about Curiel, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).
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