Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) dismissed comparisons between a state senator who made xenophobic comments about immigrants’ inability to assimilate and another lawmaker who bemoaned the scarcity of white students, saying that the former “has love in her heart.”
“Sylvia Allen is not David Stringer. Come on,” Ducey told reporters in a video tweeted by a local reporter. “She disavowed her comments and says she has love in her heart for every person.”
According to the Phoenix New Times, state Sen. Sylvia Allen told fellow Republicans at an event that she fears the United States is “going to look like South American countries very quickly ” since immigrants will fail to assimilate. The Times obtained audio of her comments on Friday.
She has not, in fact, disavowed her comments, denying that she meant anything racist.
“My reference to South America was the concern that some of these countries are socialist, and that we must preserve our Constitutional Republic form of government, and that we have not taught the next generation the difference,” she said in a statement.
David Stringer was a Republican state representative who resigned in March after his expunged criminal record, which included child pornography charges, leaked. Prior to the the leak, Stringer had a rich history of making racist and xenophobic comments, including that the current immigration system has “dumbed down our schools” and “ghettoized our cities,” and that there “aren’t enough white kids to go around.” Read TPM’s deep dive on Stringer’s downfall here.