MSNBC host Joe Scarborough and MSNBC contributor John Heilemann raged Monday over Republican Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas saying that the five victims of a Friday night shooting were illegal immigrants.
Authorities in Texas are seeking to apprehend Francisco Oropeza, 39, after Oropeza allegedly killed the victims execution-style following a dispute over Oropreza’s firing a gun in his front yard. Abbot posted the announcement of a reward for information leading to Oropeza’s arrest Sunday, and in the announcement referred to the victims as “illegal immigrants.” (RELATED: Joe Scarborough Claims Trump Took ‘Delight’ In Seeing Capitol Police Get Assaulted)
“Announcing a $50K reward for a @TxDPS top 10 fugitive who is in the country illegally and killed five illegal immigrants Friday night,” Abbott tweeted Sunday. “I also directed #OperationLoneStar to be on the lookout for the criminal and any attempts to flee the country.”
A judge issued an arrest warrant for Oropeza and set a $5 million bond, ABC reported. Oropeza is believed to be armed and intoxicated, according to Reuters. Federal authorities deported Oropreza five times between 2009 and 2016, Fox News reported. Federal law prohibits illegal immigrants from possessing any sort of firearm, with penalties including up to 10 years in federal prison.
“We saw the humanity of that sheriff holding back tears as he talked about the young boy who was slaughtered along with his mother trying to save his mother’s life, and they were shot execution style,” Scarborough told Heilemann. “And yet the governor of Texas decides that what he’s going to do in statements and tweets is underlying the fact that they’re illegal immigrants, not human beings, not victims, not yet the latest in a long line of — of — of — of — of tragic, tragic victims, but instead, underlines every chance he gets that they were illegal immigrants. I just — the callousness, the inhumanity of it all really is breathtaking.”
Heilemann responded by saying, “It is Joe, and I — I — I saw that tweet, and I’ve heard you talking about this morning earlier. You know, I obviously share that same sentiment.” Heilmann added: “It’s not surprising coming from Governor Abbott that has been his — his way when it comes to dealing with the question of illegal immigration in Texas and the political capital that he’s derived from it. And I — I find, though, almost as breathtaking, and maybe more depressing the fact that a governor who has — who has repeatedly used illegal immigrants as — as human props, has repeatedly kind of exploited the resentment towards them and foster the resentment towards undocumented workers in the state of Texas, that he gets rewarded for it over and over again.”
In a statement provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation, Abbott spokesperson Renae Eze said the following: “Any loss of life is a tragedy, and our hearts go out to the families who have lost a loved one. Following the horrific shooting on Friday night, federal officials provided the state of Texas information on the criminal and the victims, including that they were in the country illegally. We’ve since learned that at least one of the victims may have been in the United States legally. We regret if the information was incorrect and detracted from the important goal of finding and arresting the criminal.”
This article has been updated with a statement from Gov. Abbott’s spokesperson Renae Eze.
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