I’m late to the party on this, but I think my post title about sums it up.
State Sen. Dan Patrick, who says Texas leaders must “stop the invasion” from Mexico, went along with a decision to hire at least four unauthorized immigrants as cooks and dishwashers at his sports bar in the mid-1980s, according to a Houston-area man who says he was one of them.
Miguel “Mike” Andrade, 48, of Missouri City, told The Dallas Morning News and Houston’s KTRK-TV that he, his cousin and two other men from Mexico worked at one of Patrick’s five sports bars that operated in the Houston area until 1986.
At the time, it was not illegal for U.S. businesses to employ unauthorized workers.
Patrick, one of four Republicans running for lieutenant governor in the March 4 primary, said Tuesday he only “vaguely” remembers Andrade at one of his establishments. He said he had nothing to do with the hiring and that managers at each location handled employment decisions.
“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.
Andrade agreed that a manager under Patrick hired him and the other three men, but said that after a few months Patrick knew that the four workers didn’t have permission to be in the country – because he told Patrick.
He said Patrick was a compassionate employer. He said Patrick offered sympathy over their anguish at living so far from their loved ones and being constantly in fear of being deported.
“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, who recalled that he was hired at the West Houston sports bar in 1983 or 1984.
In the interview with The News and KTRK, Andrade said that Patrick wrote him a letter of recommendation to help him establish temporary residency after a 1986 federal law offered amnesty for undocumented immigrants. Andrade became a U.S. citizen in 1992.
Patrick said he had no recollection of ever writing such a letter.
Andrade also said that while he was a kitchen worker for the sports bar, Patrick offered to help him visit his ailing mother in Guanajuato.
“He said [is there] anything I can do so you can go and see your mom? I don’t want to see you suffer,” Andrade said.
Patrick then said, “I can go and bring you to here,” according to Andrade, who said he believed that meant Patrick could drive him to Houston past U.S. inland border checkpoints.
Andrade said he declined to make the trip, for fear he’d be caught and Patrick would get in trouble.
Patrick rejected Andrade’s claim about helping after visiting Mexico.
“Mr. Andrade’s allegation that I offered to break federal law in order to help him is an outrageous lie,” Patrick said. He said suggesting he would be willing to commit a crime for an employee is “simply preposterous.”
Andrade, who voted in the 2012 GOP primary and general election, said the speeches don’t sound like the man he remembers.
“He’s changed,” Andrade said. “He is trying to make a division, to…look at us like something that is not good for this country, something negative for this country.”
Andrade, who first emigrated from the Mexican state of Guanajuato at age 14, said he and his wife of 22 years live quietly in Missouri City with four of their five sons. The eldest, 21, serves in the U.S. Army, he said.
Boy, what a terrible threat to our safety Mr. Andrade turned out to be. Such a shame we didn’t have Dan Patrick personally guarding the border back in the 80s to protect us from him.
Putting aside the lie Mr. Andrade put to Patrick’s increasingly paranoid claims about the border, it’s just amazing what a reverse morality play this is. Patrick is being accused of having once been kind to a fellow human being. Due to the politics that he has helped ferment and profited from, he’s now forced to deny that ever happened, while his opponents lambaste him for it. I’m hard pressed to think of a clearer example of the disconnect between the “Christianity” that the likes of Dan Patrick so fervently proclaim they practice and that we should use as a model for our government, and the actual teachings of Jesus Christ.
On a side note, I hope Mr. Andrade remembers this incident when he goes to vote this November. The Dan Patrick you once knew doesn’t exist any more, sir. What he is now is what the Republican Party stands for these days.