- Rep. Veronica Escobar said that Sens. Cruz and Cornyn are using the border "as a prop."
- Escobar said that the root causes of immigration must be addressed or the situation will not change.
- "They had their chance to govern," she said of Cruz and Cornyn. "They chose not to."
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Democratic Rep. Veronica Escobar of Texas said in a recent Daily Beast podcast interview that a southern border tour held last Friday by GOP Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn was simply "political theater."
During an episode of "The New Abnormal" featuring editor-at-large Molly Jong-Fast, Escobar lamented that immigration has been politicized to a point where crafting real solutions has been absent from the debate.
"I think there are 18 senators that are parachuting into Texas and that delegation is led by John Cornyn and Ted Cruz," she said. "These are people who are about to engage in political theater, use the border as a prop, [and] do a whole lot of complaining and finger-pointing. But these are the same people who've been in the Senate for a number of years."
She added: "They were in the Senate when their party had control of the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives. They did not solve this problem."
Escobar said that with the exception of former President Donald Trump's child separation policy, the "vast majority" of his immigration policies are still in effect.
"It didn't stop people from coming," she said. "They had their chance to govern. They chose not to."
The offices of Cruz and Cornyn did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
In 2014, Escobar, who represents a border district anchored in El Paso, wrote a piece called "Why the Border Crisis Is a Myth," where she said many politicians were catering anti-immigrant sentiments to justify tightened immigration restrictions.
"What has happened repeatedly from Washington has been this idea that if we could just tough enough on the border, all of our immigration challenges will go away," she said. "The walls kept getting bigger and taller and thicker and uglier, [with] investments in drones and personnel. Enter Donald Trump and his cruelty and dehumanization. What we now know after four years of some of the most draconian immigration policies is unless you address the root causes, you're not going to change things much."
She added: "The other thing that I hope we realize is that migration will happen. You cannot stop migration. People move around. What you can do is do your best as a country to work collaboratively with leaders of your hemisphere."
Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, the former 2020 Democratic presidential contender and 2018 Democratic Senate nominee in Texas, recently mocked Cruz's footage of his border excursion at the Rio Grande.
In a blurry video that Cruz posted on his Twitter account, he alleged to have observed smugglers on the other side of the US-Mexico border.