A crowd of around 15 protestors, armed with one sign and one speaker, gathered at the San Antonio office of Republican U.S. Rep. Will Hurd this morning to stand against the border wall.
The crowd, largely comprised of volunteers for the Texas Organizing Project, was responding to President Trump's speech last night on the so-called "humanitarian crisis"
at the border. Numbers
from U.S. Customs and Border Protection state that migration along the southern border in 2018 was actually near the middle of the five-year average.
When the group was chanting, the chants were about Trump, but the individual speeches tended to focus on Hurd. TOP organizer Sergio Cepeda said the congressman was in a "unique position," being the only House Republican to represent any part of the southern border. His district, which extends 800 miles, almost to El Paso, is also one of the only genuine swing districts in Texas. Hurd won reelection by just under 1000 votes.
That makes Hurd uniquely subject to pressure when it comes to the wall, which he reiterated his opposition to during an interview last night
In a speech to fellow protestors, Cepeda connected the big symbolic nature of the border wall ("just another tactic based on fear and hate") with the everyday issues that come along with a government shutdown.
"The reality is that hundreds of families are hurting as a result of federal employees going without pay," he said.
In the two votes held by congress this year, Hurd voted with Democrats to fund essential federal agencies and Homeland Security. In a written response to the rally emailed to the Current
, Hurd reiterated his interest in reopening the government.
"On my way to DC, several TSA agents at the San Antonio airport approached me about their paychecks," his statement reads. "Hundreds of thousands of workers stand to lose the income they rely on. That’s why I voted last week to open the government and remain committed to championing bipartisan solutions like my USA Act. They had a productive meeting with my staff and we are all in agreement that this problem needs to be solved.”
However, one protestor accused Hurd of being a false moderate, chiding the media for continuing to give him that label. She pointed out that Hurd voted with Trump's agenda 94 percent
of the time in the previous congress, adding that he voted to fund the border wall five times.
Even so, Cepeda suggested that Hurd was "open to common sense solutions."
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