Vasquez calls out Republicans for ‘inaction’ on border policy

U.S. Rep. Gabriel “Gabe” Vasquez, a Democrat who represents the state’s 2nd Congressional District along the U.S.-Mexico border, cosponsored a resolution on Monday calling out Republicans for inaction on border policy.  The resolution says that comprehensive border immigration reform has not been updated since 1986 and that the right to seek asylum is a central […]

Vasquez calls out Republicans for ‘inaction’ on border policy

U.S. Rep. Gabriel “Gabe” Vasquez, a Democrat who represents the state’s 2nd Congressional District along the U.S.-Mexico border, cosponsored a resolution on Monday calling out Republicans for inaction on border policy. 

The resolution says that comprehensive border immigration reform has not been updated since 1986 and that the right to seek asylum is a central pillar in the U.S. immigration system. It further urges cooperation among jurisdictions and says that the U.S. should fully fund resources for immigration, including asylum officers, immigration judges, security personnel and technology needs.  

Vasquez, along with the resolution cosponsor U.S. Rep. Andrea Salinas, a Democrat representing Oregon, held a press conference on Monday to talk about why there is a need for bipartisan comprehensive border legislation. Salinas said the 2024 presidential election is playing a role in that inaction.

Vasquez said he believes that despite 2024 being an election year, bipartisan border policy is still possible. 

“There’s a group in Congress, both Republican and Democrat, who are tired of the inaction on these issues,” he said during the press conference.

He said he’s seen a lot of misinformation on border policy and that “we need folks who can come to the table in a real way.”

He said reform would help local economies by filling gaps in the workforce in fields such as nursing, education, infrastructure and farm work. He said moderate Republicans need to be able to negotiate without “fear of retribution by their own party.”

He said that within the Democratic caucus in Congress, members have the opportunity to discuss what is negotiable on these issues. 

“I’m not sure they’re having that on the Republican caucus side,” he said. “Hopefully, this resolution will be a wakeup call.”

Last week, Texas Republican Congressman Tony Gonzales introduced a resolution into the House of Representatives condemning President Joe Biden for what he called “the administration’s failure to enforce our immigration laws and secure our borders.”

Republicans have criticized Vasquez and Democrats over immigration issues. Vasquez is considered to be one of the most vulnerable Democrats in this year’s elections.

Vasquez also highlighted a package of immigration bills he introduced last year at the Port of Santa Teresa. Those bills include a pathway to permanent legal status in the U.S., a measure to hold immigrant detention centers accountable, an investment in technology to improve the inspection of goods entering the U.S. and a bill to increase penalties for trafficking across the border.

“We can negotiate with Republicans on [border policy] issues,” Vasquez said. 

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