Candidates Split Over Honduran Caravan Threat

By BOB PALMER,
Jimplecute Editor

Opponents in the Nov. 6 General Election voiced sharply differing views about the caravan of perhaps 5,000 Honduran migrants wending their way slowly through Mexico toward the United States. Democrats Catherine Krantz and Beto O’Rourke downplayed the seriousness of the Central Americans seeking asylum in the U.S. Ted Cruz called on President Trump to take firm action to stop the influx. “I have a little different view on this,” Krantz, the Democratic nominee for U.S. House Dist. 4, said. “The idea that this is a threat is absurd.” Krantz called controversy over the caravan “manufactured hysteria.”

Cruz, the incumbent Republican US Senator, was vehement in opposition to the caravan. Cruz said he’d urged President Donald Trump to take any steps needed to keep out the migrants when they were together in Houston for a rally last week. “I told the president then what every Texan knows, which is that under no circumstances should that so-called caravan be allowed to cross into the state of Texas,” Cruz said in Arlington. “We need to marshal every resource, whether it’s border patrol, whether it’s calling up the National Guard or whether it’s calling up the military, but we cannot allow 10,000 people to march across the border.” Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Cruz’s opponent, advocated restraint.

“We want to make sure that we continue to do all that we can do protect our borders, to
ensure that we back up the men and women at the border patrol,” O’Rourke said. O’Rourke insisted that “anyone who is requesting asylum in this country follow our laws, which involves if they are requesting asylum, presenting at a port of entry, not in between the ports of entry.

“So, I want to make sure we do everything that I just described, but that we also don’t respond in a paranoid or anxious way to a very real problem of human suffering right now,” O’Rourke said. Cruz has scoffed at O’Rourke’s position claiming his opponent wants to meet the caravan at the border with foot massages. At a rally in Uvalde last week, Cruz repeated a Facebook joke that migrants in the caravan were being given information sheets saying homes in the United States were ready to welcome them with free food, free healthcare and free education.

“The homes are self-identified,” Cruz told his followers. “They have a black sign in the front yard with the word ‘Beto’ on it.” Krantz said it should be business as usual if the caravan reaches the US border. “We should do the same thing we have always done,” Krantz said. “We should stick to the procedures. We have the systems in place to handle this. The military is not necessary.”

U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe in a previous interview with the Jimplecute expressed support for strong measures at the border including a wall “where a wall makes sense.” The Jimplecute spoke with Krantz and Rep. O’Rouke to report their positions on this issue. Sen. Cruz’s campaign responded to an interview request by providing recent statements about the caravan made in recent campaign stops. Attempts to reach Rep. Ratcliffe for comment were not successful. Repeated requests for a comment or interview were not returned.

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