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Letter Sent by Texas Governor Day Before El Paso Is Published

Aug. 2 letter cited undocumented immigrants
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2019 6:29 AM CDT
Updated Aug 23, 2019 6:53 AM CDT
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott gives his State of the State Address in the House Chamber in Austin, Texas, on Feb. 5, 2019.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

(Newser) – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and other high-profile Republicans in the state have "faced increasing scrutiny over their anti-immigrant language" in the aftermath of the El Paso mass shooting, observes the Guardian. Some of that scrutiny is now turning to an "urgent" fundraising letter from Abbott that was dated Aug. 2—a day before the shooting—and obtained by the Texas Signal. In it, Abbott asks supporters for help to "DEFEND TEXAS NOW ... If we're going to DEFEND Texas, we'll need to take matters into our own hands." He went on to say that 45,000 undocumented immigrants had been detained crossing the US-Mexico border into Texas over three weeks in June. "In just six months, we'd add the population of Arlington!" he continued. "Doing nothing will only lead to disaster for Texas."

A manifesto allegedly written by the El Paso shooter, who drove 600 miles to kill 22 people on Aug. 3, reads, "I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion"—specifically "the Hispanic invasion of Texas." El Paso county commissioner David Stout sees a connection between the two letters, per the Guardian: "If the leader of the government in Texas is utilizing these types of words … that sounds to me like a call to folks to do exactly that," he says. There was no comment from Abbott on Thursday as he attended a roundtable discussion on responses to the shooting in Austin, where no decisions were made, per NBC News. A second roundtable is set for Thursday in El Paso. (Read more Greg Abbott stories.)

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