Texas GOP senator Dan Patrick loves to talk about how we must “stop the invasion” form Mexico. But it’s recently come to light that back in the 1980s, Patrick hired at least four unauthorized immigrants to work as cooks and dishwashers at a sports bar he owned, at least according to a Houston-area man who says he was one of them.
Forty-eight year-old Miguel Andrade confirmed to a local TV station that he, his cousin and two other men from Mexico worked for Patrick in one of his Houston-area sports bars until 1986 when it closed.
Patrick, who is running for lieutenant governor, said this Tuesday that he only “vaguely” remembers Andrade as a former employee and went on to claim that he was not involved in the hiring process.
“We had literally hundreds of full-time and part-time employees. It’s a transient business and many young people come and go,” Patrick said in a statement.
“He was real, real, real kind with us…real good with the Hispanic community. He was really wishing (he had) some kind of power…to help us to work in this country and have a better life,” said Andrade.
But Patrick claims that the timing of the appearance of the former employee less than two weeks before the primary is an example of dirty politics by his opponents.
The “tactic is centuries old, and the allegations they now use are decades old,” he said.
Regardless, the development calls into question Patrick’s self-proclaimed purity on immigration issues and his calls to “beef up” border security. He’s slammed his GOP opponents as being “soft” on the issue.
According to the Dallas News, Patrick has characterized illegal immigration with some pretty harsh rhetoric:
[box type=”shadow”]“There are terrorists and drug runners coming into Texas and the sheriffs in 15 border counties are being asked to stop them with only a .45 on their hip and a shotgun in the trunk,” he told a Houston business group in 2006, according to the Texas Observer.
“They are bringing Third World diseases with them,” he said of unauthorized immigrants. Although Patrick cited “tuberculosis, malaria, polio and leprosy,” a state epidemiologist later rebutted his statement and said there was no evidence of that.[/box]
Dirty politics or not, the revelations are more evidence that most right wing rhetoric in regards to immigration is race-baiting at its lowest form.