The year 2019 produced many significant and, in some cases, tragic stories about immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. The list is not comprehensive but focuses on those stories considered most important to remember.
Shooting of Mexican Immigrants in El Paso: On August 3, 2019, a (white) gunman at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, attempted to shoot as many Latinos as possible before later surrendering to police. He killed 22 people and injured many more. He told police he targeted Mexican immigrants and had produced a manifesto that declared “this attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”
Journalists reported examples of Donald Trump using language similar to the shooter: “At campaign rallies before last year’s midterm elections, President Trump repeatedly warned that America was under attack by immigrants heading for the border. ‘You look at what is marching up, that is an invasion!’ he declared at one rally. ‘That is an invasion!’” according to the New York Times. The shooter claimed his views “predate Trump.”
The killings spread fear among immigrants. “A Dreamer in Texas told me he was terrified of taking his son to stores or crowded places, and said he warned his parents not to speak Spanish in public,” reported Adrian Carrasquillo in Politico. “A white man said his Latina wife from the Rio Grande Valley broke down after reading the shooter’s manifesto. She told him she’s sorry if their future kids are targets because of her.”