Ariz. GOP Candidate Defends Remark on Arab Immigrants

Thursday, 30 Aug 2012 01:39 PM

By Alec Weisman

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An American-Arab civil rights group is demanding an apology from an Arizona Republican candidate for Congress after she said the "only goal in life" for Middle Eastern immigrants "is to cause harm to the United States."
 
The comment, from Gabriela Saucedo Mercer, an immigrant herself from Mexico, made the statement back in June in media interview, according to the Arizona Daily Star. The newspaper reported that her statement concluded with her asking, "So why do we want them here, either legally or illegally?"
 
The Washington, D.C.-based American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee issued a statement demanding an apology, saying her remarks were "rooted in xenophobia and have no place in politics or our national discourse."
 
Democratic incumbent Rep. Raul Grijalva, also released a compilation of Mercer's  campaign comments, comparing them to hate speech.
 
Mercer responded to the attacks by insisting that her words were taken "out of context.
 
"They took a bunch of things I said, put them in a video, and they're all out of context. I am not a racist. I am not against Muslims and I am not against immigrants," she said, adding, "Legal immigration is good. We are a country of immigrants.”

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