EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – John Lira visited Downtown El Paso this weekend to make a point about unity. The Democrat running in Texas’ 23rd Congressional District wants to be familiar with the region’s issues even if he is going to represent only parts of the city.
He also wants to stop the two current El Paso federal representatives from canceling each other’s votes in the House of Representatives.
District 23 runs from Far East El Paso County to the outskirts of San Antonio. It also includes a sizeable chunk of Northeast El Paso. The district, which has flipped between Democrats and Republicans for much of the past two decades, is currently led by U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-Texas.
Gonzales and U.S. Rep Veronica, D-Texas, have both expressed strong feelings on illegal immigration. Both tend to vote along their party lines on major issues like immigration.
Escobar has coauthored bills to expand work visas and legal immigration and reduce the role of law enforcement in processing asylum seekers.
Gonzales has led several Republican delegations to border communities dealing with the collateral damage of illegal immigration and called for stronger border enforcement.
Lira says he’s in favor of expanding legal immigration opportunities so those fleeing violence and political or economic oppression don’t have to die in the back of crowded tractor-trailers, as was the case with 53 migrants in June near San Antonio.
“We saw what happened in San Antonio. Because these individuals feel they have no other routes to legally enter the U.S., (they) piled into the back of a sweltering truck,” Lira said. “We are a nation of immigrants, but our immigration laws are not befitting of the nation that we are.”
Lira is going after a freshman congressman who serves in the House Appropriations Committee and has been appointed to leadership roles within his party. And one who vigorously stands for border safety and constantly shares on social media commentary on the immigration enforcement and humanitarian crisis.
“Biden’s broken border policies are no longer dangerous, they are deadly. 600+ dead only in the U.S. How many have died in the Northern Triangle and Darien Gap in Panama?” he tweeted on Sunday.
“Same (expletive deleted), different day. Last week I visited the Northern Triangle (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras). President of Guatemala told me they’d be willing to take more repatriation flights if Biden would simply pick up the phone and call,” he shared last week.
Election Day is Nov. 8, 2022.