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The editor of The Albuquerque Journal has apologized after the paper published a racist cartoon by former New York Post cartoonist Sean Delonas that depicted DACA recipients as violent criminals, claiming that the editorial board had interpreted it as “poking at President Trump’s rhetoric.”

Take a look for yourself:

Yes, who could possibly, possibly say what message this was intended to convey?

“In hindsight, instead of generating debate, this cartoon only inflamed emotions. This was not the intent, and for that, the Journal apologizes,” editor Karen Moses said. “I also want to reiterate that we do not agree with many of the opinions expressed on the editorial pages, which are intended to encourage debate. Also, the editorial board decides what to publish on these pages, and that is separate from the newsroom and its reporters.”

Delonas, unsurprisingly, has drawn racist cartoons before, and made his views quite clear in interviews with the New York Times and the Albuquerque Journal, undercutting somewhat Moses’ “poking” explanation.

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From the Times:

“That’s not the way I read it,” said Mr. Delonas, 56, a former cartoonist at The New York Post. “I’ve learned that MS-13 is purposely sending minors over here to commit crimes. I’m pretty sure that the cartels are using minors for a lot of their drug dealing.”

Mr. Delonas emphasized that he believed immigrants should come legally to the United States. He said the cartoon was published after Mr. Trump contended in his State of the Union speech that undocumented immigrants “have caused the loss of innocent lives,” and focused specifically on MS-13, a gang formed in Los Angeles in the 1980s by refugees fleeing El Salvador’s civil war.

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“I think you can call them Dreamers, but I kind of agree with Trump that Americans have Dreams, too,” Delonas told the Journal.

48.5 percent of New Mexico’s population is Hispanic.

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“I’m offended as a Republican, and I’m offended as a conservative, that they would try to depict Democrats as thugs and terrorists,” Lt. Gov. John Sanchez said during a floor session. The Journal reported that dozens of people protested in front of their offices on Thursday night, and the state’s entire congressional delegation signed a statement condemning the cartoon:

“Instead of putting aside the vitriol, this cartoon feeds it,” the statement reads, according to the Journal.

“It plays to the most false and negative stereotype of ‘Dreamers,’ which can only serve to enrage extremists. … It’s never the right time to refer to a group of nearly 800,000 people as criminals, especially when they are active members of our communities, including military service members, teachers, doctors, business owners and more. And now is absolutely the wrong time to print such a divisive cartoon.”

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The cartoonist, the Washington Post notes, appears to be enjoying all the attention.

“Today, U.S. Senators and state lawmakers (all Democrats) from New Mexico took time out of their busy pay-to-play schedules to condemn me,” he wrote on Facebook. “Always enjoyed upsetting politicians, makes me feel like I’m back at the NY Post.”