Wednesday, April 17, 2024

In a Texas border town dealing with immigration issues, some Democrats are showing support for Trump.

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Asalia Casares, 52, has always supported the Democratic Party and voted for Joe Biden in 2020, just like many others in Maverick County near the U.S.-Mexico border. This area is known for being a stronghold for Democrats in the mostly Republican state of Texas.

However, Casares is now worried about the large number of people entering Eagle Pass, Texas illegally. Eagle Pass is her hometown, located next to the Rio Grande, where she grew up. While she understands the challenges faced by migrants, she is concerned about the safety of both the local residents and the migrant families. Casares points to the risks involved in crossing the Rio Grande and shares an incident where three people were discovered hiding behind an elderly neighbor’s house.

Casares, a tax official in Maverick County running for re-election, believes that if Donald Trump, the ex-President from the Republican party, takes a stronger position on border issues, it could reduce the number of people crossing the border. When talking outside a place where people vote early on Wednesday, she mentioned that she’s leaning towards voting for Trump if it comes down to a choice between him and Biden in the presidential election happening in November.

“If it comes down to Biden and Trump, it’s a bit tricky for me because I usually support Democrats. However, I’m not happy with the current situation in our country, especially at the borders,” she explained. “I’d likely lean towards Trump.”

Trump, the probable Republican Party candidate, plans to address people’s dissatisfaction during a visit to Eagle Pass on Thursday. He promises to strengthen his efforts on immigration, like he did in his first term, and continue his well-known policies, such as constructing a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and the “remain in Mexico” program. This program made some non-Mexican migrants wait in Mexico while their U.S. asylum cases were being resolved.

Eagle Pass is in Maverick County, which has supported Democratic presidential candidates for almost a hundred years. Despite losing Texas, Biden won over Trump in the county in 2020.

The Maverick County Republican Party points to research by political analyst Dave Wasserman, indicating an increasing support for Trump from the 2016 to the 2020 presidential races. The Democratic Party of the county did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Biden plans to visit Brownsville, Texas, about 320 miles southeast along the border on Thursday. Lately, he has taken a stronger stance on the border, putting the blame on Republicans for not passing laws to boost immigration enforcement funds and power. His campaign portrays Trump as hindering border reforms for personal gain and being harsh for wanting record-level deportations.

However, some people in Eagle Pass are fed up with the border situation. This could be an opportunity for Republicans aiming to connect with Latinos in Texas and other states. Olga Ramos, a Democrat running for re-election as a Maverick County commissioner, is unsure if she’d choose Biden or Trump in a rematch, with immigration being a key concern for her.

Her area has ranches and other places where people cross the border, and there’s also a Texas National Guard base.

Ramos, who is 56 years old, mentioned that people in the neighborhood are upset because migrants are using their porches to charge their phones. They’re also opening ranch gates, letting animals escape.

“We’ve been dealing with this for two years. We’re tired,” she said. “I hear all the complaints from people in my area, I ask for help, but we don’t get any.”

It’s not clear if the frustration about the border situation will affect other Democratic voters in Eagle Pass and nearby areas.

Jesus “Jesse” Becerra, a 72-year-old Democrat running for a local constable position, said he prefers Republican Nikki Haley. She lost to Trump in all five Republican contests so far. However, in a rematch between Biden and Trump, he would choose Biden.

Becerra mentioned that Biden tried to make laws to fix border problems, but Republicans stopped it when Trump disagreed.
“They don’t want to make a deal,” he said.
This info is from Ted Hesson in Eagle Pass, Texas; changes were made by Mica Rosenberg and Aurora Ellis.

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