A bipartisan contingent of lawmakers from New Mexico tore into a newspaper from their home state for a cartoon depicting so-called “Dreamers” as machete-wielding gang members who mug white people.
The Albuquerque Journal ran the carton by syndicated cartoonist Sean Delonas in Tuesday’s paper, sparking outrage among immigration advocates and many of its readers.
“The day after the Journal editorialized to say, ‘Our elected representatives in Washington should put aside some of the vitriol and make a real effort to come to agreement on an immigration reform package,’ the editors printed a cartoon that does the exact opposite,” the New Mexico lawmakers said in a joint statement Thursday.
My colleagues and I released a statement on the racist political cartoon about DREAMers published in the Albuquerque Journal yesterday. pic.twitter.com/Vj1KaJvvd9
Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich called the cartoon “heinous and bigoted” in a social media post Wednesday.
The cartoon depicts three MS-13 gang members cornering a middle-aged white couple in an alley. One is pointing his gun at the woman while he grabs her purse. Another is strapped in dynamite and brandishes a blood-tipped machete. The third holds an Uzi sub-machine gun.
“Now honey,” the husband corrects his wife, who has let out an expletive, “I believe they prefer to be called ‘Dreamers’… or future Democrats.”
DACA, Dreamers, Illegal, Immigration, Trump, Delonas, Sean, Cartoon, pic.twitter.com/X4NrNTeBLR
— sean delonas (@seandelonas) February 4, 2018
The paper’s editor, Karen Moses, signaled Wednesday that she regretted the decision to run the cartoon.
“Our editorial pages offer views from all sides of the spectrum, and we realize some of the content will offend readers,” Moses said in a statement.
“We do not agree with many of those views, but their purpose is to spark discussion and debate. In hindsight, instead of generating debate, this cartoon only inflamed emotions. This was not the intent, nor does the Journal condone racism or bigotry in any form.”
The lawmakers who issued the joint statement Thursday did not see how anyone could interpret the cartoon as “middle ground that could be fertile for agreement,” they said.
“Instead of putting aside the vitriol, this cartoon feeds it,” they said. “It plays to the most false and negative stereotype of ‘Dreamers,’ which can only serve to enrage extremists.”
Watch: Ryan: I Don’t Want to Risk a Veto On Immigration Bill That Trump Doesn’t Support