Posted on February 19, 2014 | By Patricia Kilday Hart


Miguel Andrade, the Missouri City maintenance worker who says Houston Sen. Dan Patrick employed him when he was an illegal immigrant in the mid-1980s, said in a phone interview today that he used to consider the conservative talk show host “like my father.”

“I saw him as a very good person. Almost like my father,” said Andrade. “He was so good at that time, helping Hispanics grow up in this country. We were so appreciative of him.”

He said he was surprised and disappointed to learn that Patrick, in his 2006 race for the Texas Senate, “was saying bad things about the Hispanic community and we have disease and all this stuff.”

Andrade, who worked as a dishwasher and then a cook at Dan and Nick’s Sports Market in the Rice Village from 1984 to 1986, described Patrick as a compassionate boss who extended help when Andrade’s mother was ill.

He said Patrick wrote a letter recommending him when he applied for U.S. citizenship, which he attained in 1992. He said the letter was a requirement for him to prove he had been employed in the United States consistently since his arrival in 1980.

Andrade said he is married, with five children, including a son in the U.S. Army.

To buttress his version of events, Andrade is traveling to New Mexico to speak directly with two other men who he says also were illegal immigrants working for Patrick at the same time.

“He’s going in the wrong direction,” Andrade said of the man he claims was his former boss. “I respect him a lot.” But he says he takes issue with the anti-immigrant positions Patrick has taken as a candidate: “He’s dividing the races. That is not the country I want for my kids. Let’s try to work together somehow. That’s how we get our kids to stay in school and be better future residents for our country.”


Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson says he will provide more proof that Houston Sen. Dan Patrick, who has made illegal immigration the cornerstone of his candidacy for lieutenant governor, employed illegal workers in the chain of Houston sports bars he ran in the 1980s.

“There are more shoes to drop. There are more gentlemen who weren’t legal who are going to come out and say they worked for Patrick after 1986 when hiring illegals became illegal,” said Patterson, who, along with incumbent David Dewhurst and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, is vying for the office of lieutenant governor.

Patrick denied the allegations: “It appears my political opponents have teamed up with liberals in the media to smear me. The political tactic is centuries old, and the allegations they now use are decades old. As a former news and sports anchor, and current talk show host, I can tell you I would never allow this sort of political smear to pass for news.” He said he employed hundreds of workers, but all of them filled out W-4 forms.

Houston television station KTRK and the Dallas Morning News today ran interviews with a man named Miguel Andrade of Missouri City, who said that Patrick not only employed him, his cousin and two other men from Mexico, but knew they were illegal and befriended them. Those men worked for Patrick before 1986, when hiring illegals was not yet against the law, the Dallas newspaper reported.

Patterson said Andrade is now a U.S. citizen whose son serves in the U.S. Army. “He had an extremely high opinion of Patrick and then in 2006 heard him lambasting immigrants and thought, ‘who is this man?’” Patterson said. “He had genuine affection for Dan Patrick and how he used to help illegals.”

At one point, Andrade recalled that he wanted to visit his ailing mother in Mexico, and Patrick offered to pick him up from the border, Patterson said.

“My point is here’s the most vocal guy who uses (phrases like) ‘invasion’ and ‘third world diseases like leprosy’” in discussing illegal immigration, said Patterson. “My point is hypocrisy.”

Patterson freely acknowledged that he hired a private investigator to track down rumors about Patrick’s employment of illegal aliens because he was offended that Patrick has falsely accused his opponents of favoring open borders.

In particular, he said Patrick told the Houston Chronicle editorial board that Patterson favored open borders, a statement Patterson characterized with an expletive.

Staples jumped on the revelations. “The fact that Dan Patrick knowingly hired illegal immigrants to work at his sports bar, his personal bankruptcy in which he failed to pay his debts, his years of tax liens, and lawsuits for failure to pay property taxes disqualifies him from running for Lieutenant. Governor,” said Staples.

Asked for a comment, a Dewhurst spokesman said, “Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst has never knowingly employed an illegal immigrant. If re-elected, Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst will push for legislation mandating the use of E-Verify to ensure only documented workers are hired by Texas businesses.”

Patterson said he wanted the voting public aware of the allegations, calling Patrick “the weakest link the Republican ticket.” The winner of the Republican Primary will face Democratic San Antonio Sen. Leticia Van de Putte in the November general election.