El Paso political observers are likely rejoicing that Beto survived the CNN debates last night. The El Paso dream of a homegrown president remains in place. But it is fleeting.
Beto has been in a decline since the last debate. Donations to his campaign are down and he is polling in the single digits. The Beto campaign has stagnated. In the debate last night, the stagnation was evident.
Beto neither stood out nor was he lost in the noise. Beto was just there.
But his campaign has survived.
However, the politics of Beto were clear. On free trade Beto was status quo, neither here nor there. On reparations, Beto stood out on arguing that America needs to understand its past. The question though is, was his stance enough to move voters? Is the issue of reparations enough for voters to care about?
But on immigration, Beto showed his true colors.
Beto does not understand the issue of immigration. He offers platitudes of lowering Green Card fees and offering a pathway to citizenship, including addressing the issue of the Dreamers.
But Beto opposes the decriminalization of crossing the border illegally.
Arguing that crossing the border illegally should be a criminal problem ignores the most fundamental problem with the immigration system.
The current law offers two processes for dealing with those who cross the border illegally – civil and criminal. It is left to policy on which version to apply.
The reason for this is because the system is a system of band-aids trying to serve two opposing forces – using immigrants to bolster the economy while pretending that immigrants are bad for the country.
The fundamental problem is that the place for immigrants in America has yet to be acknowledged. One group sees immigrants as a burden to the country while another sees them as a benefit.
The answer offered by Beto on immigration tries to serve both positions by offering a solution to those already here while ignoring those wanting to come to the country.
Being from the border and understanding that immigration is a hot topic issue one would expect Beto to be the leader on the immigration issue.
He is not and thus his presidential ambitions remain stagnant.