A number of church leaders, government officials and others are commenting on the death of the migrants near the Ozanam Center in Brownsville.
Statement from Bishop Daniel E. Flores
We mourn and are shocked by the horrific loss of the lives of the seven immigrant men
from Venezuela who were killed when a vehicle crashed into them this morning in
Brownsville. And we pray for several others who were injured and are in serious
This tragedy occurred this morning outside the Enrique San Pedro Ozanam Center, a
place that has served the homeless and immigrants for decades. Over the past several
months in particular Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley has worked closely with
the Ozanam Center in Brownsville to help provide humanitarian aid to the immigrant
population as they seek shelter while making arrangements to meet with their families
further north. This is done as an assistance to, and with the cooperation of government
The safety, protection and assistance of the immigrant men, women and children who
have been given permission to stay in the United States remains a priority for the Catholic
Diocese of Brownsville and for our generous staff and volunteers at Catholic Charities of
the Rio Grande Valley.
We must resist the corrosive tendency to devalue the lives of immigrants, the poor, and
the vulnerable. Let us take extra steps as a local community to care for and protect one
another, especially the most vulnerable.
As we await a fuller report from law enforcement authorities, let us stop for a moment to mourn these losses of life and to pray. Pray for the victims, pray for their families and
loved ones, and pray for our community. And after we pray, let us continue our common
efforts to serve those most in need.
Statement from Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa
Today, after the killing of seven people in Brownsville outside a homeless shelter, Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa released the following statement:
“As the former Cameron County Judge, a resident of Brownsville, a lifelong Mexican-American RGV Texan, and as a human being — I have no words today to describe the anguish and the sickness I feel at this morning’s horrific incident in my town.
“To the families of all of those killed or injured in today’s tragic event, my heart is with you all — and we will all be praying for you. But we know that prayers can’t bring back loved ones.
“While the incident is still under investigation, there is no doubt that our state’s leaders are painting a target on migrants’ backs. Political actors — who just want to score points with the absolute worst fringes of society — are ginning people up and getting them to hate their fellow brothers and sisters, and turning human being against human being.
“My words will fall on deaf ears, but with all my heart, I hope that Republicans take this moment and use it for even the slightest bit of introspection. Using words like ‘invasion’ may get you retweets and Fox News hits — but it’s also causing real-life carnage.
“Please, for the love of God, stop this hatemongering.”
This morning’s incident came just over 48 hours before Texas Republicans are set to bring their H.B. 20 to the House floor – radical legislation that would deputize unqualified vigilantes to roam the streets and make contact with anyone they perceive to be a migrant to potentially deter, repel or arrest them.
With H.B. 20, Texas Republicans are creating a powder keg of racial violence and are now handing the matches over to the people, attempting to turn neighbor against neighbor. Texans know their worth and deserve better from their elected representatives.
H.B. 20 would strip responsibilities of qualified and trained peace officers and instead put that power in the hands of any civilian emboldened by racist fear-mongering rhetoric.
H.B. 20 follows deadly hate crimes by emboldened citizens inflamed by “invasion” rhetoric – like we saw in Hudspeth County last year, or in El Paso in 2019.
Putting border-related law enforcement into the hands of unqualified, radicalized citizens would be an unmitigated disaster with easily-foreseeable deadly consequences. Texas Democrats urge all Texans to contact their representatives ahead of Tuesday’s vote and tell them to vote NO on H.B. 20.
Statement from Brownsville Mayor Trey Mendez
We have had one more casualty as one of the injured tragically passed away from their injuries at the hospital. The total lives lost is currently 8 and several more remain critical.
As we continue to receive information on the tragic incident that occurred today, we have yet to receive evidence that this was an intentional act. Our police department continues with the investigation after apprehending the driver of the vehicle at the scene. The driver has thus far been uncooperative. It is expected that our Police Dept will hold a press conference tomorrow morning.
Thanks to those who have reached out to me personally to express their sympathies to our community including Secretary Mayorkas, the White House staff, Senator John Cornyn, Mayor Ron Nirenberg, Congressman Greg Casar, Janie Lopez State Representative HD37 and State Representative Erin Gamez
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to our fire and police personnel for their quick response to this tragedy. They have done an amazing job and some are still in shock. My thoughts go out to the Ozanam Center staff as well.