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Border residents fear more violence after ‘invasion’ rhetoric by Texas politicians

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EL PASO — Border residents will celebrate Juneteenth on Saturday by pushing back against what critics see as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s inflammatory anti-immigrant rhetoric, dismissing it as mere political theater that endangers their community.

“The words by Governor Abbott are very unfortunate because it’s a part of a political game to energize his conservative base by calling for more walls and using words like ‘invasion,’” said Fernando Garcia, executive director of the Border Network for Human Rights, which is organizing the event. “But it’s also a dangerous narrative that puts a lot of families at the border at risk.”

On Saturday, Garcia and his network will host a number of El Paso immigrant rights activists, political and religious leaders and migrants at the eighth “Hugs not Walls” event. For a few minutes, undocumented immigrants will be allowed to reunite with their Mexican relatives at the Rio Grande, under the watchful…

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