Rick Perry Is Wrong About El Paso
Read the whole thing. It’s not very long.
ACCORDING to many of the leading Republican presidential candidates, including my governor, Rick Perry, the border between Texas and Mexico is among the most dangerous in the world. All of them insist that “securing” the border has to come before any sort of comprehensive immigration reform, but Mr. Perry has been particularly aggressive about it. “It is not safe on that border,” he said recently, and he called President Obama a liar for suggesting otherwise. He’s even said he was open to sending American troops into Mexico to counter the violence.
Those of us who actually live along the border know otherwise. El Paso, the largest city along the United States-Mexico border, is also one of the country’s safest cities and the heart of a vibrant binational community.
… Claims about our supposedly dangerous border would be laughable if they didn’t damage our image and our ability to recruit talent, investment and events. El Paso is home to an emerging national research university, a new cutting-edge medical school, one of the nation’s largest military installations and a vibrant business community.
It is also an important trade corridor, and our busy land ports — through which $70 billion worth of commerce passed last year — are critical to the American economy. The factories across the Rio Grande provide products for the American homebuilding and automobile industries, as well as high-tech electronics.
None of that seems to matter, however, when El Paso is made the symbol of our supposedly broken border.
So while candidates talk about getting tougher, border cities like mine will continue to talk about becoming smarter. Let’s just hope they join our conversation soon.
Veronica Escobar, a Democrat, is the county judge in El Paso.