GOP Governor Sent Fundraising Letter Asking Supporters to 'Defend Texas' from Illegal Immigration Day Before El Paso Shooting

One day before the mass shooting in El Paso that killed 22 people, Texas Governor Greg Abbott sent a fundraising email to supporters asking them to help him "defend" the state from illegal immigrants.

"If we're going to DEFEND Texas, we'll need to take matters into our own hands," the letter began, according to a report by The Houston Chronicle. The letter was dated August 2, the day before the shooting.

"The problems of illegal immigration never reach swanky limousine-liberal neighborhoods in New York and California!" Abbott added.

In the letter, the Republican governor slammed Democrats for their "refusal" to work with the Trump administration on immigration reform and accused the media of being biased and failing to report when "innocent young Americans" are killed by undocumented immigrants.

"Doing nothing will only lead to disaster for Texas, both economically and politically. Securing our border should be the federal government's job, but there is clearly a crisis at our southern border — a crisis Congress refuses to fix," the letter said.

The alleged El Paso shooter told authorities after he was arrested that he was targeting Mexicans during the attack. A manifesto linked to the shooting, espousing racist and anti-Hispanic views, was posted on the online messaging board 8chan just minutes before the massacre.

The manifesto, titled "The Inconvenient Truth," contained white supremacist ideology and expressed hatred toward immigrants and the Latino community. The author of the document warned of a "Hispanic invasion of Texas" and detailed a plan to separate America based on race.

el paso shooting memorial walmart
People pray and pay their respects at the makeshift memorial for victims of the shooting that left a total of 22 people dead at the Cielo Vista Mall WalMart in El Paso, Texas, on August 6, 2019. A day before the shooting, Texas Governor Greg Abbott sent a fundraising email to supporters asking them to help "defend" the state from illegal immigration. Mark Ralston/AFP/GettyImages

Abbott called the shooting an act of domestic terrorism and formed a task force aimed to combat such violence. The governor did not go so far as to reconvene state lawmakers, who are on summer recess, for a special legislative session.

"[The shooter] said in that manifesto that the reason why he made this attack is because of racism, because of hate, because of his desire to eliminate people from the face of the earth," Abbott said during a roundtable discussion weeks after the session. "We need to get to the root of this."

President Donald Trump responded to the tragedy in El Paso by condemning hate groups and calling for the death penalty for mass murderers and domestic terrorists. He also seemed to signal support for stronger gun background checks but has since reversed his stance on the gun control issue.

During his visit to the city, Trump praised the work of first responders and noted how much "love and respect" people had for the office of the presidency. It was reported, however, that many victims did not want to meet with the president. Trump also said he was struck by "all the love" he had seen on his trip.

Earlier this week, Trump claimed that doctors came out of the operating room during his visit to Texas and that "the love for me, maybe as a representative of the country, but for me, and my love for them, was unparalleled."