Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX) became the first Latina elected to Congress in Texas after winning the race in 2018 to fill the seat formerly held by current 2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke. Numerous Border Patrol agents told The Washington Examiner that her aides have gone to Mexico and coached migrants sent there from the U.S. under the “return to Mexico” policy to deny that they can speak Spanish. This would allow them to take advantage of a loophole that states that those deported to Mexico must speak fluent Spanish. This is the same woman who wrote for The New York Times back in 2014, airily dismissing as a myth the notion that children were being used by illegals to exploit an immigration loophole.
“What we believe is happening is Veronica Escobar’s office is going… to basically second-guess and obstruct work already done by the Border Patrol,” a senior official of the National Border Patrol Council told the Examiner.
“What we’re hearing from management is that they’re attempting to return people, and the story was changed in Mexico, where a person who understood Spanish before now doesn’t understand,” the Border Patrol union representative told the Examiner. The aides are then allegedly directly leading the migrants back to the U.S.
Escobar quickly responded to the article on social media, tweeting that “senior members” – her quotation marks – “within CBP are attempting to smear a member of Congress.”
While the absurdity of your story is laughable, @Anna_Giaritelli, it offers important insight:
1) “Senior officials” within CBP are attempting to smear a member of Congress (shocker!), and
2) Migrants in need of protection may be subject to retaliation. https://t.co/sgPzLC64vh
— Rep. Veronica Escobar (@RepEscobar) July 6, 2019
In an interview with CNN on July 1, Escobar complained that her staff was not being given full access to migrants being held in detention camps along the border. “I’m very curious about certain areas that my own staff was not granted access to when they toured,” she told the network. “We are members of Congress. We should be granted that access.”
She went on to decry the fact that so many migrants were being detained. “Because this administration is determined to jail and incarcerate and detain as many people as possible, that’s why we have this crisis,” the congresswoman said. “We have alternatives to detention. We have other programs that are effective that have proven to work but that this administration has chosen not to use. That’s why there’s a crisis.”
Denied There Was a Problem
As recently as one year ago, Escobar denied that there even was a crisis on the border. In her June 28, 2018 op-ed for The New York Times titled “There Is No Immigration Crisis in El Paso,” Escobar wrote that “[f]earmongering about immigrants has long hinged on the notion that the border is a porous, lawless place — even though it is as safe and secure as ever.”
In a similar op-ed for the same newspaper in 2014, titled “Why the Border Crisis Is a Myth,” Escobar shrugged off the notion that children were being used as a get-into-America card by illegal aliens as a media fabrication. “To hear the national news media tell the story, you would think my city, El Paso, and others along the Texas-Mexico border were being overrun by children — tens of thousands of them, some with their mothers, arriving from Central America in recent months, exploiting an immigration loophole to avoid deportation and putting a fatal strain on border state resources,” Escobar, then a county judge in El Paso, wrote.
While running for Congress, Escobar explicitly stated her desire to make immigration reform a cornerstone of her time in office, citing O’Rourke as a forerunner. “Beto has really done an outstanding job of raising the bar for this seat and making the border a topic of national conversation in a very positive and productive way,” Escobar told the Texas Tribune in an interview.
Her official platform, as detailed on her campaign website, urged acceptance of migrants seeking to enter the U.S. “The demonization of migrants who seek a better life and the talk of building taller walls does nothing to get to the root of a broken immigration system,” the website stated.
The Border Patrol allegations against Escobar come just days after 2020 Dem presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) personally escorted five illegal aliens over the border.
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