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In Texas, a proxy battle over the Democrats’ position on immigration

Inaction could prove costly this election year: Some organizations that helped win crucial swing states for Democrats in 2018 and 2020 have no plans to knock on doors or call voters this election season. midterm because they are so furious with the party’s position on immigration.

Among them is Lucha, an Arizona advocacy group widely credited with helping secure victories for Ms. Sinema and Mr. Kelly, the first Democratic senators to represent the state in decades.

“For this incredible effort and incredible participation, we got very minimal results,” said Tomas Robles, its co-executive director. “Democrats are falling into the same trap – there is a lack of political will and courage.”

In Laredo, a city of about 261,000 where downtown stores and parks almost seem to blend into the border, the country’s fight against immigration is personal. Members of the nonpartisan No Border Wall coalition are quick to note that they successfully rebuffed four attempts by Democratic and Republican administrations to build a wall in the area.

But Laredo Democrats, united in their fight against the wall, are divided on support for Mr. Cuellar and Ms. Cisneros, and their approaches to immigration. Mr. Cuellar continues to follow the path taken by the Obama administration, which relied on an aggressive border enforcement strategy intended to garner Republican support for a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants.

Its backers tend to subscribe to the same philosophy – or at least accept it. “He’s a lot more conservative than I would prefer,” said Melissa R. Cigarroa, chair of the Rio Grande International Study Center board of trustees. “But he doesn’t stop working for the community.”

But supporters of Ms Cisneros argue that the focus on border security has not helped create legal pathways to citizenship. They also argue that it does little to counter an “us versus them” approach advocated by Republicans that has put asylum seekers and migrants at risk. “Cisneros comes from this side, helping families,” said Juan Livas, an immigration activist and co-founder of the Laredo Immigrant Alliance.


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