Progressive activist groups are gearing up to unseat a Texas congressman in 2024 who is one of the most outspoken Democrats about border security, according to Politico.
In the last few elections, left-wing organizations have funneled millions into beating Rep. Henry Cuellar — who represents border District 28 — for his more centrist stances, according to Politico. As Democrats vie to take back the House majority, and the border crisis mounts following the expiration of Title 42, progressives are eager to boot the border security advocate from Congress.
“I think that appetite has turned more into a raging starvation,” a Democrat who previously worked on several campaigns in Cuellar’s district told Politico.
Cuellar’s occasional alignment with House Republicans on abortion, energy and immigration have only bolstered the progressives’ efforts, according to Politico. For instance, Cuellar has been a devout critic of President Joe Biden’s border policy, though he voted against the GOP’s Secure the Border Act this week as he said it was too restrictive.
The congressman warned the Biden administration against stripping away some of the Trump-era policies instead of reforming them, according to Reuters. Cuellar mentioned the “Remain in Mexico” policy, which forced certain migrants to reside in their country as they wait for their court date.
“We need to have centrist policies, especially when it comes to border security, but still be respectful of immigrants’ rights,” Cuellar told Politico.
Cuellar criticized the big, Democratic cities for complaining about Republican governors, like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis or Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, bussing migrants to their area, as they only see a glimpse of what it’s like near the border, the congressman said.
The Trump-era border security policy Title 42, which temporarily allowed border patrol agents to expel migrants due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ended at midnight Friday, prompting mass uncertainty over the expected influx of illegal immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.
NARAL Pro-Choice America is “committed to removing” the congressman from his seat, and progressive group MoveOn.org, among several other left-wing organizations, might join the efforts, they told Politico. Progressives face an uphill battle, as Cuellar is a 10-term congressman who has defeated their left-wing candidate twice.
Cuellar narrowly beat the progressive candidate and immigrant lawyer Jessica Cisneros in the 2022 and 2020 Democratic primaries by 0.6 points and 3.6 points, respectively, according to Ballotpedia.
“There is a vibrant progressive scene. It’s just less visible,” Tory Gavito, president of left-wing group Way to Win, told Politico.
Cuellar did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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