The Republican Party’s favored candidate for U.S Congressional District 3 is Gabriela Saucedo Mercer, an immigrant from Mexico. Though Mercer came here legally, having married an American, she is merciless in her attitude toward certain immigrants. In a recently uncovered interview from last year, Mercer complains about Middle Easterners, first because they look like Mexicans and South Americans, so can easily blend in, and then because “their only goal in life is to, to cause harm to the United States. So why do we want them here, either legally or illegally?”
That’s right. In her opinion, Middle Easterners don’t belong in the United States even if they come here legally. Obviously, Mercer isn’t expounding on illegal immigration. She’s just spewing forth her own prejudice.
According to the Tucson Weekly, U.S. Representative Raúl M. Grijalva, Democratic candidate for District 3 and current incumbent for much of Tucson, immediately denounced her statements. He pointed out that Mercer has the support of some of the most prominent Republican politicians in the state, including Governor Jan Brewer and Secretary of State Ken Bennett. In a press release, Grijalva stated, “This is reckless hate speech, and I call on everyone who has endorsed Gabriela Mercer to withdraw their support immediately. This is not a he-said, she-said question of interpretation. Her comments are reprehensible and deserve condemnation from every quarter.”
Grijalva himself is of Mexican-American origin. His father was a migrant worker who came to the U.S. in 1945 under the Bracero Program. Raúl was born in Tucson and has been in public service there for almost forty years. Unlike Mercer, he supports immigration reform.
Will it come as a surprise to anyone that Arizona’s Republican officials have enthusiastically embraced Mercer? Hah! Not likely. Arizonans long ago realized, along with the rest of the country, that the highest-ranking members of the state’s GOP can be painted with the same hateful brush. That would be the one labeled Bizarre-O.