Freshman Democratic Rep. Veronica Escobar is the target of accusations that she and her office are coaching asylum seekers to claim that they don’t speak Spanish in order to exploit the “remain in Mexico” policy. Escobar who says that accusations of immigration fraud are untrue is receiving threats on her life. In a statement from last week about the threats, Escobar, the first Latina to represent Texas in congress said, “I think it’s important for people to know that there’s consequences to their words.
“Being irresponsible and using xenophobia and bigotry to fuel hatred has a consequence.”
Escobar spoke on the consequences of bigotry while also addressing the threats.
But border patrol officials maintain that they are hearing “[Escobar’s office] is attempting to return people, and the story was changed in Mexico, where a person who understood Spanish before now doesn’t understand — where a person who didn’t have any health issues before now has health issues.”
While no evidence of fraud has been provided, officials also said, “They went through and interviewed everybody, cherry-picked them, brought them back, and now are using them as tag lines. They’re going over there and manufacturing a lot of these issues.”
The Texas Democrat believes that there is zero truth to the accusations of immigration fraud by Escobar or her office and that she is being targeted for raising concerns about border patrol violations of asylum laws.
Escobar has said that her office “has assisted constituents whose clients are asylum seekers who have been sent back to Mexico under Trump administration rules, “making it much harder for them to provide due process and counsel to their clients.”
Elected last November, Escobar is the congressional rep of Texas’ 16th Congressional District which includes El Paso, Texas which shares a border with Ciudad Juárez, México. Escobar, a former county judge, now holds the seat formerly held by Beto O’Rourke. She has been transparent about the fact that she and her office go routinely to México, taking meetings there necessary for elected officials who represent people whose lives are lived at the border of the United States and México.
It’s possible that border patrol suspicions about Escobar are motivated by the fact that she is Latina and/or from the same background as those she’s being accused of breaking laws to help. Others suspect that it is also possible that criticism by Donald Trump is in retaliation to Escobar’s criticism of the president who pardoned Arizona’s Joe Arpaio– a man ordered, in 2011, to stop detaining people solely on suspicions that they were undocumented. Arpaio was ultimately jailed for not complying.
Escobar, who studied English literature at New York University, also wrote the president a letter demanding that he apologize to citizens of El Paso, Texas for the misrepresentation of their city in his 2019 State of the Union address.
Calls to have Escobar removed have been growing online.
Regardless of the fact that there is no physical evidence to support claims that Veronica Escobar and her office have committed immigration fraud, last week, Texan, Samuel Williamson created a Change.org petition to have her removed from her congressional seat.
Various Twitter users have been asking similar questions about Escobar that many others are asking about Donald Trump and possible obstruction of the 2016 elections.
Presidential candidate hopeful, Beto O’Rourke quickly supported Escobar last week after suspicions about her began to circulate.
“You will not intimidate @RepEscobar. She is strong, she is fearless, and she will never stop fighting for El Paso, the border, and ensuring every single one of our fellow human beings is treated with dignity and respect. We are better off because of it,” the presidential hopeful wrote in a Twitter response.
Some Twitter users were swift in their criticism of O’Rourke by using the old “go home” insult.
Anyone reviewing Escobar’s Twitter feed, can see that Beto O’Rourke was correct in stating that the congresswoman will not be intimidated, as her page is filled with information and news stories about asylum laws, conditions in the detention camps, and even a link to her webpage where undocumented people at risk of detainment during the upcoming Trump administration raids can get information about rights guaranteed them under the US constitution, information about what to do if ICE agents come to their door, and information about what to do if arrested or detained.
The information on a congresswoman, Veronica Escobar’s webpage is available in both English and Spanish.