LULAC Statement on the Shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson

January 12, 2011

Contact: Lizette Olmos, (202) 833-6130

Tucson, Arizona — LULAC National President Margaret Moran expressed sorrow about the appalling shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords where 20 people were struck down, six fatally in Tucson, Arizona. Congresswoman Giffords is a LULAC member of council 1088 since 2006 and has received the presidential medal from LULAC for her work in the community.

“Our hearts and prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords and the victims of the horrific shooting in Tucson, Arizona,” stated Ms. Moran. “Congresswoman Giffords has been a tremendous leader for her district and a strong supporter of LULAC programs in the Tucson area. We hope and pray for her recovery and for those who were injured by the gunman.”

Tucson Vice Mayor, Former LULAC National Vice President for the Farwest and Former LULAC National Vice President for the Elderly, Richard Fimbres, who resides in Tucson said the following, “The entire LULAC community in Tucson is deeply saddened by this terrible shooting in our city. Gabby and her staff have been especially supportive of the Latino community in Tucson and we are stunned by this outrageous violence against a member of Congress and her staff. We are praying for her and all those who have been injured and we mourn the loss of those who have perished today.”

Among those who died are a 9 year old child and Judge John Roll who presided over cases involving vigilante ranchers along our border with Mexico. Congresswoman Giffords narrowly won reelection to Congress last November in a heated campaign in which immigration and health care were among the most contentious issues.

President Barack Obama and First Lady traveled to Tucson today. The president spoke at the University of Arizona, at an event called "Together We Thrive: Tucson and America." President Barack Obama visited Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords at the hospital earlier today and said she opened her eyes for the first time. The President mourned the loss of the people who had been killed and was grateful for the 13 Americans who survived the shooting and recognized Daniel Hernandez for being a hero. Intern Daniel Hernandez will be recognized later this month by LULAC at the Legislative Awards Gala for his courage. Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano were also present.

"Did we tell a spouse how desperately we love them, not just once in awhile but every single day," said President Barack Obama in his speech. "Do we show compassion to the people in our lives. Align values to our actions. For those that were killed, they are a part of our family. We may have not known them personally but we see ourselves in them. We are all Americans."

LULAC members have held vigils nationwide. LULAC National Vice President for the Southwest Sylvia Gonzales held a vigil in Houston with Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee earlier in the week.

The League of United Latin American Citizens, the largest and oldest Hispanic membership organization in the country, advances the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, housing, health and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating through 880 LULAC councils nationwide.

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