The Congressional Hispanic Caucus was not pleased with a resolution, introduced Tuesday by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), that would make César Chávez’s birthday “National Border Security Day,” calling it “shameful” and “beyond the pale of normal logic.”
In his resolution, Gohmert highlighted quotes from Chávez from his work with the United Farm Workers (UFW) in which he expressed a clear opposition to illegal immigration.
“In the mid-1970s, Cesar Chavez organized the UFW’s ‘Illegals Campaign’ to identify and report illegal workers,” according to the resolution, “saying that ‘If we can get the illegals out of California, we will win the strike overnight.’”
“Cesar Chavez sent a memo to UFW officials announcing ‘the beginning of a MASSIVE CAMPAIGN to get the recent flood of illegals out of California,’” the resolution says.
However Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) slammed Gohmert’s resolution and called on House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) to condemn it.
“For Rep. Gohmert to twist and warp the legacy of César Chávez is offensive, shameful and beyond the pale of normal logic,” she said in a statement. “César Chávez shined a light on the injustices faced by farmworker families, very often risking his life to overcome the very racism and bigotry that Rep. Gohmert espouses.”
“Speaker Ryan should not only reject and condemn Rep. Gohmert’s resolution,” she concluded, “he should support Rep. Tony Cardenas’ forthcoming House resolution recognizing the accomplishments and legacy of César Chávez, which has never been brought to the floor for consideration.”
Gohmert commented on his resolution that it was Chávez’s firm belief that “preventing illegal immigration was an essential prerequisite to improving the circumstances of American farmworkers."
“It only seems appropriate to deem his birthday as, 'National Border Control Day' –seeing that Chavez spent his life addressing the harmful effects that illegal migration might have on this country and advocating for a legal immigration process,” Gohmert concluded.