Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva will run unopposed for his ninth term in the U.S. House. But he says his district will still figure heavily in upcoming elections. Grijalva tells KAWC's Victor Calderón that he expects Republicans to heighten their rhetoric about the U.S.-Mexico border.
Arizona's Third Congressional District includes parts of four Arizona counties, three of which share a border with Mexico. Congressman Grijlava said Republicans and President Donald Trump will use the border to rally their base as they look to the November elections.
"(They) blame the whole border region for all the problems that exist in the country," Grijalva said. "All that rhetoric will not go away; in fact, it's going to intensify."
Earlier this month, Grijalva visited a facility housing children separated at the border in Tucson. He said immigration, separate from the border, will also be a divisive issue. He said he worries that, for voters, the disputes are not about policy, but about race.
"Those fires get stoked around the issue of color... turning the issue of immigration into 'us versus them'," he said. "At the same time you hear of growers in the Yuma area asking for guest worker programs so they can take care of their crops because they can't hire anybody else that wants to do those jobs."
Looking ahead to elections, Grijalva said Democrats need a clear message. It is not enough, he said, to simply counter the President's rhetoric on the border and immigrants.
"Running just against Trump is not going to get us a victory," he said. "We have to run for something... for thungs that matter to the American people- their health care (and) Medicare for all (among other issues)."
Primary elections take place Aug. 28. The general election is Nov. 6. The deadline to register to vote is July 30.