(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) said Thursday that the reason there are “challenges” at the border is because the legal pathways to immigration have been either “shut down or completely eliminated” so “we will see more irregular migration.”
The congresswoman blamed Republicans for not acting on immigration reform, saying their “strategy” is to deal with immigration “only as a border issue.”
“I think it's so important that as a country, we talk about the realities that we face when Congress fails to act on immigration reform, and what you are seeing and what reporters having documenting not just right now, but for some time, has been essentially the consequences of going it the Republican strategy, which is dealing with immigration, only as a border issue,” she told MSNBC’s “Jose Diaz-Balart Reports.”
“I’ve been talking both to local folks, as well as here in Washington, to leadership and to my colleagues. First, with regard to your question about locals, I want to make sure that our local governments have as much help as they need from the federal government,” Escobar said.
“For too long, El Paso and other border counties and communities have shouldered the responsibility of helping care for migrants. This is not the first year this has happened. El Paso has been doing this going on a decade,” the congresswoman said.
“This is the first administration, the Biden administration that has looked to as aggressively as possible, reimburse local governments, and I'm really grateful to president Biden and his administration, but here in Washington, my conversations with my colleagues are that we can and should do more with regard to opening up legal pathways,” she said.
“Everyone in the country needs to recognize that the reason we are seeing the challenges that we’re seeing on the border is because we have as a country either shut down or completely eliminated legal pathways. So when people don't have legal pathways, we will see more irregular migration,” Escobar said.
“Finally, I do want to remind the American public that the Venezuelans who are seeking asylum in our country, asylum is a legal process. Now the system was not created or set up to deal with so many people at once, but I have heard my colleagues refer in very derogatory terms to Venezuelans and other migrants, and I want to remind everyone that asylum is legal,” the congresswoman said.