Slide #1: Silvestre Reyes served as El Paso’s congressman from 1997 until 2013; He represented El Paso in the 105th Congress with his last term being the 112th Congress. He was a former border patrol agent and in 1997, he became the first Latino to represent TX 16 in the House of Representatives. Beto O’Rourke defeated Silvestre Reyes in the 2012 election and he represented El Paso for three terms until his resignation to run for Senator. He narrowly lost the 2018 Senate Race to Ted Cruz (R). Veronica Escobar won the 2018 election for the right to represent El Paso in the House of Representatives. All three of these representatives won their respective congressional elections with large margins of victory, showing the Democratic support in El Paso.
Slide #2: This slide describes the policies that we have studied in class that are pertinent to El Paso. The last few years in American politics have been fueled by immigration related debates and immigration reform. This slide focuses on the idea of assimilation and how it affects the representatives view on an issue. Since immigrants tend to settle in co-ethnic areas, it can be assumed that illegal immigrants crossing the border stay in El Paso, spurring the anti-immigration sentiment in the district.
Slide #3: Due to the fact that El Paso is over 80% Hispanic and along the Texas-Mexico border, I believe that El Paso’s voting record would be supportive of immigration since there is a large Hispanic constituency in the district. The assimilation of Mexicans in El Paso is also a factor in El Paso politics as there has been a series of ‘firsts’ with Hispanics and winning a seat in Congress in the district. This leads me to believe that since there is a large constituency of Hispanic people, the elected representative must be in favor of less restrictive immigration.
Slide #4: In the past, O’Rourke and Reyes voted in favor of bills that are supportive of immigrants by supporting Hispanics and Hispanic children. However, since Veronica Escobar is serving her first term as a member of Congress, there is no record of her voting history in regard to immigration. However, her twitter feed and her membership on certain committees give insight to how she might vote in the future. Her twitter feed is full of the idea that she supports immigration reform, but that there needs to be a more humane way to deal with illegal immigrants at the border. She is also a member on the subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship, which leads me to believe that she will work to find a solution to reform immigration while supporting the Hispanic communities that are already established in the United States.