Democratic Congresswoman Veronica Escobar may be running into some legal issues as it has been learned her office is reportedly sending staffers across the United States-Mexico border to coach migrants how to exploit immigration loopholes.
Escobar, who represents Texas’s 16th congressional district, based in El Paso, filled the congressional seat of 2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke when he announced a senatorial bid against Republican Senator Ted Cruz.
“The National Border Patrol Council’s El Paso chapter and several Customs and Border Protection personnel told the Washington Examiner aides to Rep. Veronica Escobar…and the local Catholic diocese have interviewed thousands of migrants in Juarez over the past few weeks to find cases where Department of Homeland Security officials may have wrongly returned people,” the Washington Examiner reports.
One senior union official who spoke with the Washington Examiner described the situation in more detail: “What we believe is happening is Veronica Escobar’s office is going … to basically second-guess and obstruct work already done by the Border Patrol.”
According to the report, the Democratic office is not just helping a handful of migrants but has sought interviews with over 6,000 people who the Border Patrol sent back to Mexico.
Here’s more, from the Washington Examiner:
Under the bilateral Migration Protection Protocols, or “Remain in Mexico” policy, anyone returned must be fluent in Spanish because they may have to reside in Mexico up to five years until a U.S. federal judge decides their asylum claim. A Democratic politician’s aides reescorting people back to the port are telling officers the Central American individual with them cannot speak Spanish despite their having communicated in it days earlier, CBP officials said.
“What we’re hearing from management is that they’re 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,” the union representative 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,” said the union official.
Not only is the Democratic congresswoman’s operation increasing the costs of addressing already-decided migrant cases it has reportedly worried Border Patrol agents that their work may become politicized. Per the report, some immigration officials are worried the Democratic congresswoman’s office can argue the agents are wrongfully sending away asylum seekers.
Here’s even more from the report:
“We had finally found a happy medium ‘cause we always get crapped on when it comes to immigration laws, and then they’re finding loopholes to bring them back,” the second official said.
Mark H. Metcalf, a former federal immigration judge during the George W. Bush administration, said the involvement of Escobar’s office was likely “more of a stunt than a genuine threat to the integrity of the process.”
“She’s trying to obviously say these people have been wrongly denied their claims and they’re waiting when they shouldn’t be,” said Metcalf.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli described on Twitter that the Democratic congresswoman’s actions may be illegal and “if true, this would be nothing short of aiding & abetting criminal activity.”
“Entering this country illegally is a crime! If true, the Congresswoman must stop allocating American taxpayer [money] from her office budget to help people illegally enter our country,” he added.
If true this would be nothing short of aiding & abetting criminal activity. Entering this country illegally is a crime! If true, the Congresswoman must stop allocating American taxpayer $$$ from her office budget to help people illegally enter our country https://t.co/RhItlAONTc
— USCIS Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli (@USCISCuccinelli) July 8, 2019