Nicholas Ballasay, PJ Media, July 25, 2017
Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Texas) said today that the idea of finishing the U.S.-Mexico border wall is “obsolete” and that the U.S. government should tear down the existing fencing.
“The important thing to remember is Mexico is an ally, not an enemy. Our two countries share tremendous economic, cultural and social ties. The idea that we would ever have thought about building a fence or a wall between these two countries is just very difficult to believe. To me, a wall is a fence and a fence is a wall,” Vela said during a press conference alongside other House Democrats on Capitol Hill.
“The idea of building a wall between the two Germanys was a bad idea and that’s why he decided to tear it down,” Vela said. “We are going to vote against these measures, but if it was up to me I would bulldoze the existing wall.”
Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) argued that spending taxpayer funds on expanding the barriers at the border is wasteful.
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) said people pay human smugglers “a lot of money” to come into the U.S. over the border illegally because there is no other way for them to come.
“When there isn’t an immigration system that allows them to apply for a visa, they will go run into the hands of smugglers. Refugees will go around the legal system if there is no legal system, and the wall will not help it one bit,” he said.
Gutierrez charged that supporters of expanding the existing border barriers want a wall to serve as a “death trap” for migrants and give Americans a “false sense of security.”
“What you need are modern solutions to modern problems. You need a modern, functioning immigration system, not a wall,” he said. “The wall in China today is what? A tourist attraction – just open up the brochure, that’s all it is, a tourist attraction. In America, they want to make it into a death trap for immigrants trying to come into the country.”
Gutierrez had a direct message for his party over its treatment of Latino voters and issues.
“We are tired of being some second-tier agenda within the platform of the Democratic Party,” he said. “In the last election, yes, a lot of people didn’t come out that voted in 2012 – but not Latinos. We came out in record numbers.”