Election Day is finally here! Both candidates for Texas senate - Democrat Beto O’Rourke and Republican Ted Cruz - have campaigned all they could to allow voters to get a strong grasp as to where they stand with issues relating to immigration. Although both candidates have polar opposite views on immigration, they do both agree that immigration is a key topic to campaign on. Both have stated their beliefs and how they would handle issues revolvingaround immigration as senator.
O’Rourke has spoken out against Trump’s policy of separating children from their parents after crossing the border. He has stated that instead of treating immigrants in such a cruel and inhumane manner which can have devastating life-long effects including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), we should have a more welcoming attitude towards legal immigrants.
O’Rourke proved himself on the topic of child separation. On June 17th, he led a Father’s Day march to the Tornillo detention center to bring constituents’ attention on the children who are being separated from their parents at the border. Additionally, he has worked with republican Senator John Cornyn on introducing legislation to increase security and staff along the border of Mexico and Texas.
. In June, Senator Cruz introduced a bill titled “Protect Kids and Parents Act” which he states would attempt to keep families together. He said that under this bill, it would take less than 14 days to determine whether someone seeking asylum could legally stay in the USA. He mentions that the problem leading to child separation is that there are too many immigration cases and not enough being done to solve them. Under this act, asylum cases would take priority and swift action would be taken on each case. This bill however, is not supported by Immigration Attorneys because it would take a great deal longer than fourteen days to prepare any decent asylum claim, and thus does not really help potential Asylees present their best case.
H1 B VISAS
In addition to the borders, O’Rourke has vowed to protect H-1B Visa holders. During his term thus far, President Donald Trump has stated he wants to revise the rules for H-1B visas to make it so less people can come in using the visa. O’Rourke has strongly disagreed with this stating that he plans to expand, rather than decrease, the program and promised to work towards this goal as senator.
Contrarily, Cruz has spoken against companies hiring H-1B Visa’s. He has said that when companies hire people with H-1B’s, they are taking away jobs from Americans. In December of 2015, Cruz co-sponsored a bill titled the “The American Jobs First Act of 2015”. This bill would force companies to pay a minimum wage of $100,000 for all H-1B employees. In turn, this would decrease the number of employees being hired from countries such as India, China, South Korea, and Canada as these companies would not be able to afford paying such a high wage.
Additionally, as senator, O’Rourke has promised to fight for DREAMers - people who are eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, otherwise known as DACA. As a house of representatives member, O’Rourke has sponsored or co-sponsored multiple acts in support of DREAMers. He introduced “Protect DREAMers Confidentiality Act of 2017” which would prevent Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from sharing confidential information of any DREAMer to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). In addition to this act, he co-sponsored the “DREAM Act” which would allow removal of statuses for either long-term residents or those who entered the USA illegally as children. On multiple occasions, he has spoken to protect all DREAMers living in Texas.
Cruz has sharply disagreed with his opponent. Instead, he has taken a stance similar to that of the president to state that it does not matter how or what age an immigrant comes into the country - if they came here illegally then they should be deported. He supported a lawsuit from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton which would not allow anyone else to sign up to DACA. Cruz has stated that DACA is going against the law and spoke out multiple times against President Obama for signing DACA into existence.
During the 2016 presidential campaign and after winning the election, President Donald Trump has repeatedly called for a border wall. He claims this wall will help prevent immigrants from entering into the country illegally from Mexico. This border wall has caused a debate between Republican and Democrat politicians alike. Representative O’Rourke has stated, on multiple occasions, how he stands strongly against this border wall. He has said there are other ways to prevent illegal immigration than using billions of tax-payer money to build a wall.
On the other hand, Senator Cruz has spoken in strong support for the proposed wall. On multiple occasions, Cruz has said how Americans, especially Texans, are not safe with open borders. The incumbent senator believes although the border wall would be a start in the right direction, extra protections must be taken place to protect the border.
Throughout this election cycle, we have seen the disagreements and the few agreements between the two candidates. We’ve seen both candidates give their all to winning the senate in Texas. Could this be the first time in 24 years that Texas turns blue or will republicans remain control over the lone star state? We’ll have to wait until Tuesday evening to find out what will happen. Either way, we’ve got to applaud Beto O’Rourke and democrats for putting up competition, one that the state hasn’t seen in decades from the party. This might be the most important election of our lifetime, for both conservatives and liberals, so make a plan to head to your nearest polling station between 7 AM - 7 PM on Tuesday.
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