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Congressman Grijalva Speaks on Border Rhetoric and Democrats

Congressman Grijlava's Office
Congressman Raul Grijlava (D) CD 3

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 in the country." - Congressman Raul Grijalva

"(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."

"Running just against Trump is not going to get us a victory." - Congressman Raul Grijalva

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.

Victor is originally from West Sacramento, California and has lived in Arizona for more than five years. He began his print journalism career in 2004 following his graduation from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. Victor has been a reporter for the following daily newspapers: The Monterey County Herald, The Salinas Californian and the Reno Gazette-Journal, where he covered stories including agriculture, education and Latino community news. Victor has also served as a local editor for Patch, a national news organization with hyperlocal websites, in Carmichael, California in the Sacramento area. He also served as the editor for The New Vision, the newspaper for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson, which includes Yuma and La Paz counties. Victor lives in Somerton. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends and following most sports.
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