Texas Republican Wants to Turn Cesar Chavez Day into 'National Border Control Day'

Biography

Texas Representative Louis Gohmert submitted a proposal to change March 31, or César Chávez Day, to “National Border Control Day” on March 20. Chavez is, of course, known for changing the treatment, pay and working conditions for farm workers as well as having founded the National Farm Workers Association in 1962.

The statement says, “Chavez was best known for his passionate fight to gain better working environments for thousands of workers laboring in harsh conditions on farms for low wages.” But the resolution gets more problematic as it continues. “In fact, it was his firm belief that preventing illegal immigration was an essential prerequisite to improving the circumstances of American farmworkers; and in 1979, in a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., he demanded that the federal government enforce the immigration laws and keep illegal aliens out of the country.”

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Naturally, the controversial proposal upset many. The Hispanic Caucus released a statement saying, “César Chávez risked his life to overcome the very racism & bigotry that Rep. Gohmert espouses. For him to twist & warp the legacy of CésarChávez is offensive, shameful & beyond the pale of normal logic.”

New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez directly replied to the tweet and called Gohmert a bigot. The senator, who was born to Cuban immigrants, said, "I will not let bigots co-opt Cesar Chavez’s Birthday. Republicans have been blocking my resolution to honor Chavez's bday for 9 years, but I'm pushing on and introducing it again this week"