Rep. Escobar Wants to Be Sure New Border Fence Doesn't 'Stop Wildlife'

By Susan Jones | February 13, 2019 | 8:43 AM EST

Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) speaks at a rally in El Paso on February 11, 2019. (Photo by Christ Chavez/Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas), asked if she will support the border security compromise, said she needs to review it.

She said she does not oppose certain types of fencing, as long as those fences "don't stop wildlife, don't harm wildlife, but are a tool for Border Patrol to stop vehicles."

Among other things, the deal produced by a congressional conference committee gives President Donald Trump $1.375 billion for 55 miles of new fencing.

"Are you okay with 55 miles of new fencing along the border?" Willie Geist, an MSNBC "Morning Joe" contributor, asked Escobar Wednesday morning:



"You know, Willie, I need to know what kind of fencing, honestly," said Escobar, who is from the border city of El Paso:

"Because what we've seen in Homeland Security bills on the border, we've seen fencing being replaced, we've seen fencing going up. I am not anti, you know, the Normandy fencing out in the rural areas, things that -- that don't stop wildlife, don't harm wildlife, but are a tool for Border Patrol to stop vehicles. So I need to know what kind of fencing exactly it is."

Escobar, speaking about the broader deal, said she wants to know, "does it have investment in the ports? Does it have investments in judges? Does it have investments in the kind of humanitarian needs that we're seeing on the U.S.-Mexico border right now.

"And then finally, one of the most important points for me, and I know for the Hispanic Congressional Caucus, does it invest in the Northern Triangle so we can begin to stem the flow of families leaving very insecure and violent places so that we can actually get to the root of the issue, something the president has never even bothered to talk about.

"So there is still a lot for me to review before I say whether or not I support it," Escobar said.

Escobar accused the Trump administration of "cruelty" in the way it is treating "those coming to our front door, seeking legal asylum."

"In El Paso, we are still seeing hundreds of families arriving each day," Escobar said. She praised her community for receiving the asylum seeks with "kindness and generosity."

"But I'll tell you, as soon as the weather starts warming up, we are going to probably see even more families arriving at our doorstep, which is why it's really important that we deal with the root causes of migration and not just deal with them via cruelty, which is essentially the Trump administration response."

Escobar said improving living conditions in Central America is the key to stemming the flow of migration:

"We saw Mexican males, their migration, or their trying to enter the country decreased when their economy improved, when unemployment improved. If we do the same with other countries, then people can stay in a safe and secure place.

"They are running from a place where they can no longer live to a place they knowing that running to a place where they're not wanted. Can you imagine the desperation?" Escobar asked.

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