GOP Chair Dennis "What we need is another 9/11" Milligan seeks an apology from Sen. Denny Altes of Fort Smith (pictured) for stupid remarks.
Fort Smith-Fayetteville station KHBS / KHOG-TV reported Wednesday evening that Altes sent an e-mail calling for illegal aliens to be sent back and stating that “we are being out populated by the blacks also.” Dennis Milligan, the state party chairman, said in a written response that illegal immigration should be discussed “in a respectable manner, without pitting neighbor against neighbor or using fear as a divisive tool.
... [quoting the Altes e-mail] “ We are where we were with the black folks after the revolutionary war. We can’t send them back and the more we p *** them off the worse it will be in the future. So what do we do,” the e-mail states. “I say the governor needs to try to enforce the law and sign the letter of understanding... and at least we can send the troublemakers back. Sure we are being overrun but we are being outpopulated by the blacks also. What is the answer, only time will tell.”
Copy and paste for Democrat-Gazette account.
UPDATE: Altes apologizes.
UPDATE II-IV: LULAC has called for Altes' removal from office. Release on jump. Also on the jump, a statement from Democratic chair Bill Gwatney. And the ACLU has condemned Altes' remarks.
LULAC NEWS RELEASE
Washington, D.C. -- LULAC members and allies are strongly urged to call Republican Arkansas State Chairman Dennis Milligan and the National RNC Chairman Mike Duncan, and demand that State Senator Altes be removed from office immediately. On November 14, 2007, State Senator Altes’ sent a racist email to a constituent calling for the deportation of all the undocumented immigrant population and lamenting that the county could not do the same to the African American population in the state. He expresses frustration that whites are being “overrun” and “out populated by the Blacks”.
The text of Altes’ email reads as follows: “All politics are local and I am for sending the illegals back but we know that is impossible,” said Altes. “We are where we were with the black folks after the revolutionary war. We can’t send them back and the more we piss them off the worse it will be in the future. So what do we do. I say the governor needs to try to enforce the law and sign the letter of understanding with the INS and at least we can send the troublemakers back. Sure we are being overrun but we are being out populated by the blacks also. What is the answer, only time will tell.”
State Senator Altes, the answer for you is to resign and put an end to your divisive remarks.
The State Senator’s disparaging remarks come at a time in our nation when the levels of hate crimes against Latinos have risen by more than 25% since 2004. According to the recent FBI Hate Crime Statistics Report, Hispanics now comprise 63% of the total victims that are targeted based on ethnicity or national origin, compared to 2004’s alarming figure of 51.5%.
“While Dennis Milligan, the state Republican chairman, has insisted that Altes apologize for his disrespectful remarks, the State Senator still remains in office,” said LULAC National President Rosa Rosales. “LULAC urges that both the National and Arkansas RNC Chairmen do the right thing and demand that Altes step down from office.”
Click Here to get connected to the Arkansas Republican headquarters and the National RNC office.
Denounce Altes’ hateful remarks!
The League of the United Latin American Citizens, the largest and oldest Hispanic membership organization in the country, advances the economic conditions, educational attainment, political influence, health and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating at more than 700 LULAC councils nationwide.
STATE DEMOCRATIC PARTY RELEASE
Statement from DPA Chairman Bill Gwatney on remarks by Sen. Altes
As a former member of the Arkansas Senate and now the Chairman of the Democratic Party of Arkansas, I am shocked and appalled by the recent remarks made by Sen. Denny Altes.
His remarks were inappropriate, divisive and racially insensitive.
I’m pleased that Sen. Altes apologized for his ugly remarks against his fellow Arkansans. I hope his future public policy decisions reflect his atonement.
ACLU NEWS RELEASE
Today the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas condemned the comments delivered by State Senator Denny Altes in an email to former Fort Smith Mayor Bill Vines, in which Altes compares being “overrun” with illegal immigrants to being “out populated” by black people. “I am for sending the illegals back but we know that is impossible. We are where we were with the black folks after the revolutionary war. We can’t send them back and the more we piss them off the worse it will be in the future…. Sure we are being overrun but we are being out populated by the blacks also.”
“Senator Altes’ remarks make it all too clear that the sentiment that too often colors the immigration debate is not as alleged concern for American workers, or cost to taxpayers, but just your garden-variety racism,” said ACLU of Arkansas executive director Rita Sklar. “The Senator could not have made it clearer: for some at least, the high-toned arguments about the burden undocumented immigrants allegedly put on state coffers and state jobs are a sham, while the truth is that some people feel that there are just too many Latinos (and African-Americans) around; their racism and fear of being in the minority is what propels some of the cruel and irrational proposed immigration policies we’ve seen in recent years. What we need is a rational debate on immigration based on facts, not fear.”
Several legislative proposals were put forth in the 2007 Arkansas Legislative Session, including one to make it illegal to provide shelter to hungry and homeless people who are not in the country with the proper documentation. That proposal did not make it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.