In an article in today’s USA Today, Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-CA) was quoted by the as saying that there two types of lawmakers, “a workhorse or a showhorse.” Sánchez has organized seven legislators to push forth Biden’s ambitious immigration reform package through Congress. Absent from Sánchez’ group of legislators is El Paso’s own Veronica Escobar (D-TX).
Sánchez’ “Closers” group of legislators are people she has labeled as individuals that are working on the immigration package not “for the glory or for the credit,” but to get it done.
The Closers, as Sánchez has labeled her immigration legislation group, includes Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Lucille Roy-Allard (D-CA), Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), Judy Chu (D-CA), Yvette Clarke (D-CA), and Karen Bass (D-CA), as well as Sánchez.
Sánchez told the USA Today that “she chose this group of congresswomen…because of their past work on immigration, in addition to several of the congresswomen serving in districts that have large migrant communities.”
El Paso has a “large migrant community,” yet Escobar is missing from Sánchez’ group.
This is not the first time that Escobar is absent on immigration legislation. In October 2019, a bipartisan group of House members introduced the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (HR 5038). The legislation offers temporary work permits to immigrants looking to work in the agricultural industry and a pathway for legalizing undocumented immigrants who have worked in agriculture for 180 over the last two years.
The 44 co-sponsors of the farmworker’s legislation included 20 Republicans and two Texan legislators.
Veronica Escobar was not among them.
The legislation is one option Sánchez is considering to overcome opposition to the immigration reform package by breaking it up the legislation into smaller pieces to make it easier to pass through Congress.
The Escobar House webpage lists “related news” items related to immigration on her official page. The list focuses on headline news items such as Trump’s visit to the border and family separation.
Absent in the news items, on Escobar, is a comprehensive immigration reform package.
Escobar has a history of playing up to the cameras but not putting forth meaningful legislation. When it comes to immigration, Escobar suffers from the same immigration duplicity that El Paso suffers from.
In addition to ignoring the immigration issue, as county judge, Escobar took the position that keeping immigrants jailed at the El Paso County Jail was acceptable. Jailing immigrants in El Paso is the County’s third-largest source of revenue.
Escobar’s husband, Michael Pleters, an immigration judge appointed by the Trump administration, has been singled out as one of the worst immigration judges for approving asylum cases in the country.
Marquee issues that garner national attention for Escobar puts her in the forefront, but when it comes to meaningful legislation like immigration reform, Escobar is nowhere to be found.
Immigration reform is not something that Escobar wants to champion because it exposes many of El Paso’s and her dirty secrets.