EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Congresswoman Veronica Escobar led a letter today to Attorney General Merrick Garland of the Department of Justice to investigate the shooting of two undocumented immigrants in West Texas as a hate crime.  

The letter was signed by 15 additional Members of Congress, elaborating on the anti-immigrant rhetoric, as it continues to be used to describe the increased migrant arrivals at the southern border. The letter urges the Department of Justice to investigate the shooting as a hate crime, considering Michael Sheppard’s history of racism and abuse towards migrants.

As KTSM 9 News has previously reported, the shooting occurred after Michael Sheppard and his twin brother, Mark Sheppard, were traveling in a vehicle when they first passed a small group of migrants at a water tank. The two men traveled back to the migrants’ location and shouted profanities at the group. Though it remains unclear which of the two brothers shot at the migrants, both Sheppard brothers have been arrested and charged with manslaughter.

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“This attack on a group of migrants stopping for a water break is just the most recent
manifestation of the rising racist and xenophobic sentiments for those who have come to the
United States seeking a better life. As the United States continues to see increased arrivals of
migrants at the southern border and with news coverage being devoted to the recent political
stunts by the Governors of Texas and Florida, partisan news personalities have been using this
information to peddle lies and stoke fear of immigrants in the American people.”

Congress of the United States

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