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Jackson Lee: 'Racism is a national security threat'

Jackson Lee: 'Racism is a national security threat'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeLawmakers roll out legislation to defend pipelines against cyber threats Victims' relatives hold Capitol Hill meetings to push police reform Democrats debate timing and wisdom of reparations vote MORE (D-Texas) on Tuesday said the Trump administration should declare racist beliefs a threat to U.S. national security.

During a hearing of the House Homeland Security Committee, Jackson Lee said that the attack in her home state of Texas last week displayed the danger of ignoring U.S. residents who foster white supremacist views.

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"I believe that racism ... should be declared a national security threat," Jackson Lee said.

"Racism is a national security threat. Before, we would say, 'you have a right to your racist views. You have a right to believe that slavery was right. That segregation was right.' We live in an era where that can no longer be allowed," she continued.

Her remarks came after 22 people were killed in an El Paso Walmart last week by a shooter who police say espoused racist and white supremacist views after his capture.

Multiple Democrats have condemned the Trump administration and President TrumpDonald TrumpVirginia GOP gubernatorial nominee acknowledges Biden was 'legitimately' elected Biden meets with DACA recipients on immigration reform Overnight Health Care: States begin lifting mask mandates after new CDC guidance | Walmart, Trader Joe's will no longer require customers to wear masks | CDC finds Pfizer, Moderna vaccines 94 percent effective in health workers MORE himself following the attack and another the week before in Gilroy, Calif., arguing that the president's rhetoric about immigrants and communities of color contributed to the shooters' motives.

Trump has called for the House and Senate to pass bills supporting "intelligent background checks" after the shootings, while adding that he is hopeful for "meaningful" action on gun violence in Congress.

"I think with a lot of success that we have, I think I have a greater influence now over the Senate and over the House," he said last week. "I think we can get something really good done. I think we can have some meaningful background checks."