The Republicans and Democrats in the US have their views divided on the immigration stance. Republicans say they encourage lawful immigration and have the blood ties to substantiate it whereas the Democrats maintain that tougher rules will not resolve the humanitarian crisis.
Texas’ new congressional district maps are still being challenged in court, but two Republicans have already come forward to oppose the Democratic incumbent Veronica Escobar of El Paso. The Republican candidate Irene Armendariz-Jackson is running for re-election to the Texas House District 16 seat for the second time.
Armendariz-Jackson was defeated by Escobar in the general election on November 3, 2020, by a 35 per cent to 65 per cent vote margin. In 2020, Samuel Williams ran for the seat but was defeated in the Republican Primary runoff by Armendariz-Jackson by a 35 per cent to 65 per cent margin.
The Republicans are running against a two-term incumbent in a district that has consistently sent Democrats to Congress since November 1964. Leaders have named Escobar to various committees during her three years at the Capitol, including the Judiciary and Armed Services.
“In Washington, I’ve been working hard to deliver hundreds of millions of dollars and resources to our community,” Escobar said, citing the Child Tax Credit and others. She has also filed several bills that passed the House and authored pending legislation to reform US immigration agencies.
Her Republican opponents, on the other hand, claims she has failed to collaborate with her colleagues on the other side of the aisle, which accounts for legislation that does not become law. Apart from conflicts on a variety of local issues, Democrats and Republicans are at odds over how to address the immigration crisis, which analysts think is a factor in President Joe Biden’s declining poll numbers.
Both Williams and Armendariz-Jackson claim to support legal immigration to the United States and have blood ties to back it up. “We need legal immigration to sustain our country, immigration that gives everyone an equal chance. That’s why the system exists,” Williams told Border Report.
He further said “but we have too many people violating (the law) and it really hurts the legal immigrants coming into the United States. We should expect people to do it the right way. I think that’s the expectation of most of those who’ve come here legally…not just show up at the doorstep and say, ‘Let me in and give me everything.’ That’s not the way the world works and not how the United States works”.
In addition, with Mexican drug gangs and international smuggling organizations cooperating to control undocumented migration into the United States, Williams advocates increasing militarization of the US-Mexico border. “Our border situation needs to be secure. We need to vet every individual that’s coming into this country. But if they come in illegally, they need to be sent back,” Williams said.
Given the cartel involvement, including recent across-the-border gunshots taken at the US Border Patrol in El Paso, he suggests a temporary suspension of the Posse Comitatus Act that restricts the use of soldiers to enforce domestic laws. The Republican also discussed how law-abiding, visa-eligible individuals in Juarez have been separated from their relatives in El Paso for 19 months owing to Covid-19-related non-essential travel bans.
Meanwhile, thousands of families from Central America and abroad have crossed the border since last year and have been allowed to stay under Title 8 Immigration Processing Regulations, many of whom do not have a Covid-19 test or immunization.
“No doubt what we have been seeing for the past several years has been heartbreaking,” Escobar said. “Part of the reason why I have resisted calling what’s happening a border crisis is because of the connotation, is if we can somehow harden or employ policies that are cruel enough at the border, this crisis somehow will go away.”
The representatives prefer a more long-term, all-encompassing strategy. This involves incorporating leaders of immigrant-sending countries, as well as regional partners, into the bargaining table. The first step is to determine what is causing the immigration, whether it is due to crime, economics, or anything else. The next step is for governments to commit to specific obligations. Domestically, the United States must reopen legal immigration channels that have been closed by successive presidential administrations since the turn of the century.
“There are folks who say, ‘if only migrants would do it the right way,’ or ‘they’ve gotta get in line.’ That shows a complete lack of understanding that, since the Clinton administration, legal pathways have shrunken and under (President) Trump some were eliminated altogether,” Escobar said.