Texas Senate Candidate Allred Pledges to Tackle Border Crisis, Criticizes Biden

Texas Senate Candidate Allred Pledges to Tackle Border Crisis, Criticizes Biden

Democratic Rep. Colin Allred of Texas, who is running against GOP Sen. Ted Cruz in the Republican-leaning state this fall, promises to “fix the border” in a new ad, claiming that he “stood up to Joe Biden on the border.”

However, just two years ago, the congressman dismissed the issue as one playing out in the “right-wing echo chamber,” despite a significant surge of migrants at the US-Mexico border.

Allred, a former NFL player and civil rights attorney who represents the northeast Dallas area, made his comments in February 2022, as the US saw a surge in migrants at the border compared to the Trump administration – and even compared to the previous year under Biden, which broke previous records for border encounters.

When asked about Republicans running on the border, crime, inflation, and “wokeism” in the 2022 elections, Allred stated he believed most voters were concerned with inflation and the economy. “I think some of those others may fall into, kind of, the right-wing echo chamber,” Allred told Major Garrett of CBS News’ “The Takeout” podcast.

“I don’t hear much about the border here in Dallas, although I live in a border state. We want comprehensive immigration reform. “We want to try and address some of these issues,” Allred stated.

“But it’s not – I don’t think it’s a top-of-mind issue,” he said, adding that he believes voters are still angry with Covid-19.

In February 2022, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) documented 166,010 interactions with migrants along the US-Mexico border, a 64% increase over the previous year’s 101,099 encounters.

That surge was part of a bigger trend in 2022, which saw a then-record 2.4 million migrant interactions, a significant increase over the Trump administration’s highest yearly overall enforcement actions of 1.15 million in fiscal year 2019. In comparison, fiscal year 2021, which included some of Biden’s first year in office, saw 1.95 million total enforcement actions.

Though Allred rejected the border’s political importance at the time, a University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll from June 2021 indicated that 34% of Texas voters named immigration and border security as the state’s top worries (each at 17%), ahead of Covid at 5%.

Texas voters are more concerned about border issues. A University of Texas/Texas Politics Project poll conducted in April indicated that a strong majority of Texas voters viewed migrants crossing the US-Mexico border as a crisis (48%) or a very serious problem but not a crisis (23%).

In his campaign to oust Cruz, Allred is now spending at least $380,000 on an online ad focused just to the border issue. Allred did not publicly reveal the commercial, as he has done with prior ones.

“I am Colin Allred. Fentanyl is overwhelming the country. Our borders, as well as our politics, are broken. To remedy it, we must go after the cartels and strengthen the border,” Allred says in the advertisement. “But we have to do it in a way that reflects our ideals. Values passed down from my grandfather, a customs officer in Brownsville. I stood up to Joe Biden on the border, as well as fanatics like Ted Cruz, who favor chaos over serious answers. I am Colin Allred. I’m running for Senate to address this issue.”

The ad is currently running online, and Google ad transparency data shows that Allred has spent at least $280,000 marketing two versions of the spot, which run 30 and 15 seconds and have been viewed more than 11 million times. Allred has paid more than $100,000 on the Facebook ad.

Allred campaign spokesperson Josh Stewart told CNN, “Since his first days in Congress, Congressman Allred has focused on bipartisan solutions to fix our broken immigration system and secure our border.” During his 12 years in the Senate, Ted Cruz has demonstrated that he just wants to play politics with the border situation and would never support a bipartisan solution.”

A shift at the border

Allred, who was first elected to Congress in 2018 by flipping a Republican-held seat in the Dallas suburbs, has pushed to toughen many of his positions on border security and immigration enforcement ahead of the November statewide election.

He joined a Democratic-led border security task team this spring and stated his support for the border security bill offered earlier this year, which was defeated by Republicans.

That law did not include provisions for any undocumented immigrants, including a road to citizenship, which Allred has long advocated for, but he described it as “a much-needed step” toward immigration reform.

Allred has likewise adjusted his tone on Trump’s proposed border wall.

When Allred was running against GOP Rep. Pete Sessions in a January 2018 town hall, he promised to personally tear down the wall if it was built rather than provide a road to citizenship for the undocumented. “The idea that we’ll swap this for a racist wall. Absolutely not. If they build that wall, I’ll be there to knock it down,” he stated.

He consistently referred to the border wall as “racist,” “wasteful, ineffective,” and a “failed policy” that would be unnecessary in the coming years, while he did say in 2019 that physical barriers were “sometimes appropriate.”

Years later, in October 2023, after the Biden administration announced the construction of new portions of the US-Mexico border wall using monies already provided by the Trump administration, Allred hailed the decision as per edition. cnn.

“This is a necessary step to help Texas’ overwhelmed border communities deal with the current surge of migrants,” he told The Hill, adding that it was “only a partial solution.”

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