A Hispanic legislator born in El Paso received an anonymous letter in the mail telling him to “Go back to Mexico.”
State Rep. Javier Martínez, D-Albuquerque, received the letter in the mail Wednesday, after returning from the Roundhouse.
The unsigned letter just read, “Go back to Mexico! You do not represent us!”
The Albuquerque Democrat is one of the sponsors of legislation aiming to stop the federal government from building a border wall in New Mexico and has been a harsh critic of rhetoric from President Donald Trump.
“I think the president has elevated hateful rhetoric across the country to such a degree that it’s emboldening certain people to come out and say those types of things,” Martínez told NM Political Report, adding that he is not surprised by the letter.
Still, he says that recent news on immigration keeps the letter in perspective.
“This does not compare to the fear, the very real fear that immigrant communities feel across the state and across the nation,” Martínez said.
He said that many of those being detained haven’t committed any crime beyond crossing the border without documentation.
While he was born in the United States and has lived here for years, Martínez grew up in Ciudad Juárez until the age of 8.
“The border is very much a place where you move back and forth,” he said.
Martínez is in his second term as a state representative and faced no competition in either the primary or general election this year.
Martínez said late last year he would be “looking very closely” at running for Congress in the state’s 1st Congressional District. The current representative, Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham, will be leaving the seat to run for governor in 2018.
“I’m very proud of my Mexican roots, I’m very proud of my immigrant roots and I’m proud to be an American citizen,” Martínez said.