Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Vows To Challenge Lupe Valdez On Border Issues

Democratic Candidate for Governor Lupe Valdez released Tuesday, April 17, a statement responding to Governor Greg Abbott’s comments on her views on border security and immigration

Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a get out the vote rally in Houston on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, the first day of early voting for Republican and Democratic primaries in Texas.

Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday vowed to challenge Democratic gubernatorial candidate Lupe Valdez over her views on border security and immigration, emphasizing an early contrast with the former Dallas County sheriff who has not yet secured her party’s nomination.

In an interview after a Tea Party meeting here, Abbott offered his most extensive comments on Valdez’s candidacy yet, saying he and she “have been locked in a battle for an aspect of Texas ideology” that goes back to their clash three years ago over her department’s policy on compliance with federal immigration authorities. Like he did in a tweet earlier this month — when he broke his silence on Valdez’s campaign — Abbott treated her as the Democratic nominee Monday, despite the fact she is in a May 22 runoff against Andrew White, the son of late Gov. Mark White.

“It's clear that she's not only obviously the frontrunner and had the most votes in the initial go-around, but it's our analysis that she'll be the nominee,” Abbott said. “And so every time she comes out and starts talking about ways that are antagonistic to the Texas perspective on making sure that we ban sanctuary cities, secure our border, I'm going to challenge her on it.”

Valdez opposes the state’s ban on “sanctuary cities” that Abbott signed into law last year, looking to punish local officials who do not fully cooperate with federal immigration authorities. She has also been critical of his decision to heed the call of President Donald Trump and send hundreds of National Guard troops to the border earlier this month — criticism that prompted Abbott’s April 4 tweet declaring her his November opponent.

“I think she embodies the Obama approach, which is more open borders, obviously not enforcing the ban on sanctuary cities,” Abbott said Monday. “We went through a big legislative process to make sure that Texas would pass a ban on sanctuary cities. If Lupe is elected, she will eviscerate that ban on sanctuary cities, and all these concerns that so many Texans have will be threatened.”

Valdez released Tuesday, April 17, the following statement responding to Abbott’s comments on her views on border security and immigration.

“It’s back to business as usual with Greg Abbott spewing his fear-based open borders nonsense. I’ve spent 42 years working in law enforcement, working to keep Americans safe, I know what smart security looks like and this isn’t it. Demonizing immigrants, and spreading fear and hatred is exactly the wrong approach. We need common sense policing, we need to fund the people who truly understand the border and we need to work with our communities. Abbott’s backwards approach hurts our economy, hurts our communities, and makes us less safe,” said Valdez in a press release.

“I understand why Governor Abbott would rather spend his time sowing division than talking about his failed leadership. He'd rather beat his chest and spread fear than explain why under his leadership we’ve seen an endless assault on our schools, we've seen Texas remain the most uninsured state in the nation, and we've seen opportunity for everyday Texans disappearing – all while his special interest donors keep getting handouts,” said Valdez.

“If he wants to talk about what is “antagonistic to the Texas perspective,” it isn’t our common sense and smart approach to security, it’s his shameful policies that serve the very few at the expense of the everyday Texan. You can bet this military veteran, former federal agent and 4-term Sheriff of Dallas County is going to eviscerate SB4,” said Valdez.

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