Politics

Congressman Colin Allred condemns Biden, Cruz, and Abbott on immigration and border security

Allred currently leads the field of Democratic candidates hoping to challenge Republican Senator Ted Cruz in the fall, but most voters have yet to make a choice in the upcoming primary election.

Congressman Colin Allred
Andrew Schneider/Houston Public Media
Congressman Colin Allred (D-Dallas), January 24, 2024

Dallas Congressman Colin Allred made a campaign swing through Houston in his effort to secure the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Republican Senator Ted Cruz. Allred defended his recent vote for a House resolution attacking President Biden's handling of immigration and border security.

Allred was one of 14 Democrats, including three from Texas, who voted for a GOP-led resolution, H.Res. 957, "Denouncing the Biden administration's open-borders policies."

"The fact of the matter is that we do have a crisis at the border and that we have to respond to it," Allred said, noting his family is from Brownsville. "I know that our border communities are real places where real families are trying to get ahead and raise their kids, and they need us to act."

At the same time, Allred blasted Republicans for what he characterized as simply exploiting the crisis for political gain.

"I will take the exact opposite approach,” he said. “I will help us pass the comprehensive reform that we know we need to pass, that we've come close to passing under President (George W.) Bush and President Obama, and that Texas desperately needs us to pass."

Allred blamed Cruz for standing in the way of genuine immigration reform, but he reserved some of his harshest criticism for Governor Greg Abbott's policies.

"Border security does not mean being brutal," Allred said. "It does not mean being inhumane. It does not mean talking about that you would prefer to be shooting migrants if it wasn't against the law. It doesn't mean putting razor buoy traps in the middle of a river. It means handling migrants in a way consistent with our values as Americans."

Allred also took Abbott to task for his statement earlier this week suggesting that he would resist an order by the U.S. Supreme Court to allow federal agents to cut concertina wire that Texas had strung out along the state's border with Mexico.

"The governor is dead wrong," Allred said. "This a federal province, this issue, the issue of immigration, and we need to have federal action. But we're not going to go back to the days of trying to nullify laws or in any way indicate that Texas is going to somehow separate itself from the rest of the United States. We are governed by a Constitution."

Allred argued that the cornerstone of his campaign was about restoring Texas freedoms, including women's reproductive rights. He said, if elected to the Senate, one of his goals would be to pass legislation restoring women's right to an abortion nationwide, as it existed before the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade.

"When the Supreme Court overruled the case, it did not say that the Congress can't step in and act, and that's what the Congress now has to do," Allred said. "I've voted to do that in the House, but we have not been able to get it through the Senate. When I'm in the Senate, we will be able to do that, and we'll restore this right for women across our state, and we'll make sure that we go back to the standard we've had for the last 50 years."

Allred currently leads the Democratic field at 29%, according to the most recent poll from Emerson College. His nearest rival, State Senator Roland Gutierrez of San Antonio, registered 7%. But a plurality of 37% of voters responding to the poll said they have yet to make their primary choice.

Allred is trying to make inroads into that undecided number with a fresh ad buy in Houston and Dallas, which he said he would expand to other media markets.

"I'm just incredibly proud and humbled by the outpouring of support that we've received (so far), having folks from 245 of our 254 counties support our campaign, over 200,000 folks who have contributed what they can to help us," he said. "And I think that shows the enthusiasm that's there for us to get rid of Ted Cruz and to have a senator who actually cares about all 30 million of us."