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November 4, 2019 

Hate Has No Home Here!

(MADISON)—Today, Senator Tim Carpenter issued the following statement after the attack on Mahud Villalaz, an American citizen, on the basis of his race:

“On Friday night, outside of La Sierrita Restaurant on South 13th Street, a man was targeted because of his appearance, treated like he was not an American, and then viciously attacked with caustic acid. His attacker was carrying a bottle of battery acid with him. The attacker accused Mahud Villalaz of coming to America illegally, Mr. Villalaz explained that he is a long-time American Citizen. The attacker became angry and threw the contents of the bottle into Mahud’s face, hospitalizing him with second degree burns and leaving his skin discolored.

“I am sickened by the idea that this happened in the neighborhood where I grew up, in a city that is so proud of its immigrant heritage.

“The Southside of Milwaukee is famous for its Polish ancestry, it is also home to Native Americans, German-Americans, African-Americans, and Hmong-Americans, to name only a few. Today a young and growing Latino culture is taking root and blossoming into an integral part of our community. This shifting culture, that has allowed so many different peoples and ideas to call Milwaukee home, is one of the great strengths of our community.

“When his attacker accused him of invading this country, and coming here illegally, Mahud bravely stood up for himself, explained that he was a citizen, and said, ‘People come here from other countries for a better life.’

“This idea, that no matter where you come from, you can build a better life for yourself and your children, is the American Dream. It is our nation’s promise to the world, and our strongest virtue. As the descendent of immigrants, whose motives live today in my fellow countrymen like Mahud Villalaz, I condemn this attacker, and urge our community to break down notions of racial division, so that we can become stronger together. In the last few years, this type of verbal abuse and physical violence against Latinos and other groups has dramatically increased.

“I would like to thank Chief Alfonso Morales, and the City of Milwaukee Police Department, for their dutiful and swift response to this event. Our brothers and sisters within the Latino community have begun to let us know that this type of attack makes them worried that they might be targeted like Mahud. I know that Chief Morales and MPD work tirelessly to keep our neighborhoods safe.

“I would also like to thank Mahud Villalaz, for standing up for himself as a U.S. citizen that night, and speaking out about what happened to him. It shows us that we must come together and support each other to keep the American Dream alive, in honor of our ancestors, and with hope for our children.

“Hate has no home here!”