Vasquez Supports Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Won't Comment on Border Crisis

Vasquez Supports Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Won't Comment on Border Crisis

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
April 15, 2024

Border security and immigration reform continue to be the top issue concerning Americans, as the Wall Street Journal and many other media outlets recently suggested. Representative Gabe Vasquez (D-NM) and Representative Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX) discussed the border crisis and President Biden's consideration of stemming the flow of illegal migrants via executive order with Cactus Politics, where they both called out Democrats and Republicans for refusing to truly do anything about the border, each agreeing that the 2013 "Gang of Eight" bill would have made an impact had it passed the House.

"I think as lawmakers, we have a responsibility to keep politics out of the national conversation when it comes to solving the issues of the American people," said Rep. Vasquez, who said the Biden Administration's consideration of an executive order instead of "a meaningless resolution that does nothing is something that I think is a step forward."

Republicans have repeatedly argued that President Biden could solve the border crisis himself without the need for Congress via this executive order. However, Rep. Vasquez, who was born in El Paso, Texas but was raised in Mexico, countered by saying genuine immigration reform must come from Congress, something that has not seen the light of day since the Presidency of Ronald Reagan.

Does Texas have a constitutional right to defy Supreme Court on protecting its border?

"Our broken immigration system is a product of Congress and their inaction for the last three decades since the Reagan Administration. We have not had meaningful impacts on immigration reform in this Congress. And we have to be honest about that as Democrats and Republicans. So it is not about the last three years, it is about the last three decades," Vasquez continued, adding, "so [Republicans] can put up all the messaging they want, but until they work with Democrats to get something through this Congress in the next several months, we really cannot take any of their propositions seriously."

Vasquez too aim at House Republicans, calling them not serious for wanting to find a solution to the crisis occurring at the border, and accusing them of lobbing "grenades" but refusing to "sit down with Democrats at the table to do something meaningful," rather filing a "meaningless resolution that does nothing."

But just as Vasquez placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of House Republicans, the freshman congressman from New Mexico refused to comment on the increase in illegal immigration  since President Joe Biden took office three years ago,

When asked about the "influx of illegal immigration over the past three years, more so than when Trump was in office," Vasquez stated,"I am not going to comment on that."

Instead, Vasquez pivoted to immigration bills he has introduced but have failed to gain traction in the Republican-led House of Representatives.

In addition, Vasquez pointed at the 2013 "Gang of Eight" legislation, which he supports and called "the most comprehensive immigration proposal that passed the Senate, and Speaker [John] Boehner (R-OH) refused to put it on the House floor" as an example of how Congress, specifically Republicans, do not want to solve the border crisis to maintain it as a political issue.

"Those are important pivotal moments in American history where he had an opportunity to have comprehensive immigation reform," added Vasquez.

Rep. Gonzalez similarly beat back accusations he is supportive of unrestricted mass migration, calling the notion "ridiculous" and pointing out that "I have been really hard and critical on the border on both administrations because I thought much more can be done. I think much more could be done on Mexico's southern border, and when we negotiate trade and everything else with Mexico, controlling migration should be a very important part of the conversation."

However, Rep. Gonzalez was more cynical in his answer about the "Gang of Eight" bill, saying, "We are far away from passing an immigration bill."

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Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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