Texas Democrat Rep. Filemon Vela published a letter Monday attacking Donald Trump, calling him a “racist” and telling him to “take your border wall and shove it up your ass.”
The complete letter was published by the Dallas Morning News. Despite the blunt tone of the letter’s conclusion it actually opens on some points of agreement before taking a turn:
As the United States Representative for the 34th Congressional District of Texas, I do not disagree with everything you say. I agree that the United States Government has largely failed our veterans, and those of us who represent the people in Congress have the obligation to rectify the Veterans Administration’s deficiencies. I also believe that the Mexican government and our own State Department must be much more aggressive in addressing cartel violence and corruption in Mexico, especially in the Mexican border state of Tamaulipas. And clearly, criminal felons who are here illegally should be immediately deported. There might even be a few other things on which we can agree.
However, your ignorant anti-immigrant opinions, your border wall rhetoric, and your recent bigoted attack on an American jurist are just plain despicable.
Rep. Vela spends several paragraphs criticizing Trump’s language toward people with Mexican heritage and pointing specifically to two Medal of Honor winners, Master Sergeant Jose Lopez and Master Sergeant Roy Benavides, for their service in World War II and Vietnam respectively. Vela also makes the military angle of his letter personal:
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.
The U.S. courthouse in Brownsville is named for Rep. Vela’s father and his wife, Rose Vela, is also a judge. So it appears Trump’s remarks about Judge Curiel’s heritage really struck a nerve. Vela doesn’t hold anything back in his conclusion:
I would like to end this letter in a more diplomatic fashion, but I think that you, of all people, understand why I cannot. I will not presume to speak on behalf of every American of Mexican descent, for every undocumented worker born in Mexico who is contributing to our country every day or, for that matter, every decent citizen in Mexico. But, I am sure that many of these individuals would agree with me when I say: ‘Mr. Trump, you’re a racist and you can take your border wall and shove it up your ass.’
Trump is seeking to improve on Mitt Romney’s record of garnering 27% of Latino voters in the 2012 election.