HOUSTON (FOX 26) - "I am saying today that Gene Green is a hypocrite," said Adrian Garcia, candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 29th District of Texas. He was referring to state legislation filed by Green more than in the 1980s that sought to criminalize anyone hiring an undocumented worker.
"The progressive community understands that these are people," added Garcia. "They may be undocumented, but there is nothing illegal about them. There is nothing alien about them. They are people. They are flesh and blood."
Green fired back toward his opponent calling Garcia "desperate" and pointing out the exceptional amount of undocumented people who were deported from the Harris County Jail while his opponent served as sheriff.
"About 25,000 people were deported under the agreement that Adrian Garcia signed with the Justice Department," said U.S. Rep. Green. "The facts are the facts. There were a lot of people who were deported who were not felons and they were deported under his watch."
Garcia also referred to Green's emphasis on blue collar job training and statement that the 29th District would quote "never be River Oaks."
The former Harris County Sheriff called it evidence that the 11-term Congressman doesn't believe Hispanics can elevate economically.
"In short, don't use your brain," said Garcia. "Don't try to be better. Don't try to lift yourselves up. Just settle for less and be happy about it."
"That's ludicrous, that's crazy because twice a year we do paying-for-college workshops," explained Congressman Green. "We bring all sorts of events to our district to make sure our students have the opportunity to go where ever they want to college."
U.S. Rep. Green, who is not Latino, says he has evolved on the issue off immigration over the past three decades and has co-sponsored reform efforts in Congress. His re-election bid has won the support of every Hispanic Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Garcia said during his time as Sheriff, he worked to increase protections for the undocumented and claims Immigration and Customs Enforcement was responsible for all deportations out of the Harris County Jail.