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Midterm elections | Inflation and immigration top Texas concerns



(McAllen) In McAllen, a town in Texas on the border with Mexico, inflation is, as elsewhere in the United States, a major subject on this election Tuesday, but the migration issue remains a subject of concern, in the one of the gateways for migrants from Latin America.

“I think the main problem right now, which affects us all, is the high cost of inflation, which is present everywhere in the world,” said Tony Jalomo, a 57-year-old retiree who goes to the polling station. installed in the city’s nursing care building, but “immigration is an American problem and we need the two parties to talk to find a solution”.

In this city, where 80% of the population is of Hispanic origin, the main concern during these midterm elections, which concern both Congress and many local offices, remains indeed to know what the authorities will face increasing migratory pressure on the border.

Car McAllen is a privileged gateway to the United States for migrants, with a bridge spanning the Rio Grande crossed by hundreds of cars every day, and a wall built under the Trump administration which is now part of the landscape.

Despite everything, thousands of migrants from Central America, Cuba, Venezuela or Haiti are trying to cross the river by all means to enter American soil.

Democratic stronghold

As a sign of this unabated pressure, more than 2.5 million people were detained in detention centers between 1er October 2021 and August 31, 2022, according to border police.

Most leave their country driven by poverty, violence and lack of perspective, reasons that do not find much favor north of the border.

“They broke the immigration system […]. Embassies, consulates, gatehouses or international bridges are useless. Loads of people cross the Rio Bravo. The United States is the victim of a silent invasion by 11 million irregular migrants”, denounces Francisco Cabral, 71, using the name given by the Mexicans to the river separating the two countries.

This worker of Mexican descent, who was born and has always lived in the United States, thus alludes to President Joe Biden’s desire to regularize 11 million undocumented migrants living on American soil, an initiative that could become complicated if the Republican Party wins a majority in both Houses of Congress.

McAllen has historically been a Democratic stronghold, but in recent years conservatives have gained ground and a Republican candidate, Monica De La Cruz, now has the chance to win and enter the House of Representatives.


Monica DeLaCruz

Openly Republican himself, Mr. Cabral considers that President Biden is leading the country “to disaster” and does not want to see his taxes finance social programs for migrants.

fear and division

For Juanita Gonzales, a 60-year-old retiree, it is essential that this territory remains in the hands of the Democrats.

“But it is something complex because it is not clear what the intentions of one or the other are,” she regrets.

Carlos Fantini, a car salesman, thinks that “the main problem is human trafficking here, at the border”.

If he feels “sad for these people who have to immigrate”, he also insists on what migrants bring when they arrive: “They will work, pay their taxes, they will do positive things”.

A vision opposed to that of the Republicans, for whom immigration causes insecurity against which it is necessary to fight by granting additional means to the police at the borders, in order to protect the families of McAllen.

Aware of the risk of seeing the city rock, former Democratic President Bill Clinton went there to support the Democratic candidate, herself Hispanic, Michelle Vallejo.


michelle vallejo

Merchant by trade, Vallejo assures that McAllen can bring many opportunities, as long as there is investment. Bill Clinton, for his part, thinks that Republicans harbor hatred towards migrants.

“They don’t want you to think. They want you to be afraid, to divide you, they want you to look to other people and think that the differences are more important than our common humanity, “thus launched the former Democratic president during a rally.

Romelia Hinojosa, a 64-year-old Mexican who has lived in McAllen for more than twenty years, believes that “as humans we all have opportunities, and if the opportunity arises to come and improve our quality of life because it impossible in your own country, so welcome”.

“As long as they do it right,” she adds.

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