Home>Immigration>Gallego Criticized for Playing Politics with Border Crisis

U.S. Congressman Ruben Gallego speaking with Hillary Clinton supporters at a campaign rally at the Intramural Fields at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, November 2, 2016. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Gallego Criticized for Playing Politics with Border Crisis

Sen candidate calls for Trump-era protections despite having previously called them ‘stupid’

By Steve Kirwan, November 13, 2023 2:21 pm

In a move seen by some Republicans as pre-election pandering, Congressman Ruben Gallego (D-3) is now criticizing the Biden Administration over what he now calls a “crisis” at the southern border. Despite being on record as a vociferous opponent of Trump’s closed-border policies, Gallego is now calling for measures to stem the tidal-wave-like invasion of illegal immigrants.

In a 2018 interview with CNN, Gallego bashed Trump for even considering using armed troops to secure the southern border. He stated, “I will gladly work with the president when his ideas aren’t stupid and detrimental to the United States. Unfortunately, this is what this plan is.”

Gallego appears to be trying to build his border cred after announcing his run for Kyrsten Sinema’s Senate seat, deemed vulnerable given Sinema’s disfavor by the Biden White House. With polling reflecting increasing voter concerns over the border crisis, Gallego’s previously soft-on-immigration stance appears to be a liability, prompting him to adopt a stricter border stance. However, Gallego’s tougher position has not yielded help from the Biden administration. As recently as last month, the Congressman unsuccessfully requested a joint border tour to assess concerns.

Gallego’s newly minted views on the border did not go unnoticed by his Republican challenger, Kari Lake. In an interview on Steve Bannon’s “War Room,” she hit Gallego and Sinema for their failure to protect the border and reduce illegal crossings.

“Now he’s talking about the border. But every single chance he and Kyrsten Sinema had to help President Trump secure that border, they voted against it. Now, all of a sudden, they’re talking about the border,” she stated.

Tate Mitchell, National Republican Senate Regional Press Secretary and GA Gov. Kemp surrogate, echoed Lake’s sentiments. Earlier on 11/12/23, Mitchell posted on X, “@RubenGallego spent years in Congress supporting the disastrous policies that created the crisis at our southern border. Election season flip-flops won’t hide his record as an open-borders radical.”


It remains unclear which candidate will emerge as the front-runner, either for the seat or the border issue. However, Gallego’s flip-flop on the border shows the growing impact of the issue. Recent polling shows Republicans with as much as a 2-to-1 advantage over Democrats on the border, a fact that may be driving some Democrat candidates to rethink their position.

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