El Paso residents have been signing an online letter telling Donald Trump that he is not welcome in their city. The letter was created after Mayor Dee Margo announced that Trump would most likely visit the city on Wednesday.
The letter was written by the immigration advocacy group Border Network for Human Rights, The letter made it very clear that residents did not want him in their city. It went on to blame his “actions” and “rhetoric” have “led us to this terrible moment.”
“We, the undersigned, organizations and individuals who make El Paso and Southern New Mexico our home, and our friends and allies across this great land, send you this letter in the hope that, in the aftermath of this heinous crime, you will NOT come to El Paso, our home,” the letter begins.
“This is a time of intense grief and mourning, and we appreciate the impulse to comfort the kin of those killed and wounded—however, your presence would bring no comfort, no respite from the pain so brutally and callously imposed upon us. We ask, instead, for your absence. We say this because we recognize that it is your rhetoric and your actions that led us to this terrible moment. This shooter was inspired by your words and your attitudes.”
The letter adds to the massive backlash over his anti-immigrant and racist rhetoric after it was revealed that the lone gunman in the El Paso is believed to have posted a manifesto on the website 8chan, which is known to be a hub for white nationalists. In the manifesto, he rallied against Texas’ Hispanic and immigrant communities in the lead-up to the attack.
In the manifesto, the suspect used terminology that Trump has repeatedly used. He used the term “invasion” a term Trump uses on a regular basis.
The letter tells Trump that his “portrayal of asylum seekers as an ‘invasion,’ of Mexicans as ‘rapists and criminals,’ of unauthorized immigrants as ‘animals,’ your constant reliance on sowing hatred and fear, your embrace of racism and white supremacy, all of this over these past years has brought us to this place of pain.”
“Given this history of hate on your part, we ask that you stay away. In the meantime, we will lament this loss—the 22 dead and 24 wounded, our mothers and fathers, neighbors and friends—without you. This is for the best.”
“But, as you stay far, far away from the death, and pain, and grief you have caused, we hope you take a moment for genuine introspection, deep soul searching, and penance,” the authors state.
“We hope you will genuinely change,” they tell Trump, before suggesting that the president also consider asking for El Paso’s forgiveness.
“We hope you will have the grace and humility to ask for our community’s forgiveness,” they say, adding: “We hope that following this horror we will never again hear the racist, xenophobic, and hateful language that has marked your presidency.”
The letter also asks that Trump cut his “ties to white supremacists.”
“We hope you will champion laws and policies that ban assault weapons and high yield magazines, enact universal background checks, and demand red flag laws that take guns from those who are a harm to themselves or others. We hope you will stop policies that criminalize, demonize, and dehumanize migrants. We hope you will uplift our Southern Border as the ‘New Ellis Island’ of our age—a gateway to an inclusive, welcoming America that is still the land of opportunity for all,” the letter says.
“Only then, after you have demonstrated this change, genuine and meaningful, in your words, your acts, and your heart, can we welcome you in El Paso again. In the meantime, we must insist you are not welcome here.”
It is not clear how many people have signed the letter, but it has been shared widely on Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter.