Veronica Escobar to give Spanish-language response to Trump State of the Union address

Veronica Escobar to give Spanish-language response to Trump State of the Union address
© Greg Nash

Rep. Veronica EscobarVeronica EscobarDemocrats call for Twitter, Facebook to take down Pelosi video posted by Trump El Paso Walmart shooting suspect charged under federal hate crime law The Hill's Morning Report - Icy moments between Trump, Pelosi mark national address MORE (D-Texas) will give the Democrats' Spanish-language response to President TrumpDonald John TrumpCensus Bureau spends millions on ad campaign to mitigate fears on excluded citizenship question Bloomberg campaign: Primary is two-way race with Sanders Democratic senator meets with Iranian foreign minister MORE's State of the Union address next month, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report - Sanders on the rise as Nevada debate looms Lawmakers push back at Trump's Pentagon funding grab for wall Malaysia says it will choose 5G partners based on own standards, not US recommendations MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerBarr to testify before House Judiciary panel Graham won't call Barr to testify over Roger Stone sentencing recommendation Roger Stone witness alleges Trump targeted prosecutors in 'vile smear job' MORE (D-N.Y.) announced Friday.

"Whether it's giving a voice to Latinos across America, or helping her home town of El Paso heal after gun violence, or holding the Trump Administration accountable for its assaults on the vulnerable, Congresswoman Veronica Escobar has embodied the best of public service in her first year in Congress," Schumer said in a statement. "At times like these, we need champions to step up, so I am thrilled she will deliver the Democratic Spanish-language response."

Escobar is a freshman lawmaker and one of the first two Latina members of Congress elected from Texas. Her district along the border with Mexico was previously represented by former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeKrystal Ball: Voters are coming to their own judgements about who is electable Warren campaign to host series of events in Texas Democrat attacks Trump's rhetoric, policies in Spanish-language State of the Union response MORE (D).

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She made national news during her first year in office in the wake of a shooting in El Paso that killed 22 people. When Trump was preparing to meet with victims of the shooting, Escobar said he was "not welcome" in the city while its residents were still mourning the dead.

"I would ask his staff and his team to consider the fact that his words and his actions have played a role in this," she said at the time.

A manifesto that was allegedly left by the accused shooter, who has pleaded not guilty, closely mirrored some of Trump’s statements about immigrants, including describing the influx of Latino migrants as an “invasion,” though the accused gunman said he held his beliefs before the president took office.

“Our diversity is our strength,” Escobar said in a tweet Friday after the announcement. “Now more than ever, Democrats will continue to celebrate our diversity, defend our democracy, and work for a more equal and just nation.”

Pelosi and Schumer also announced that Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) will give the English-language Democratic response to Trump's Feb. 4 speech.