By Becky Brewster
Representative Will Hurd conducted a Town Hall meeting at the El Capitan Conference Center last Saturday. Sheriff Oscar Carrillo introduced Rep. Hurd to the compact audience of about a dozen area residents. Rep. Hurd is running for re-election for the 23rd Congressional District which covers 820 miles from Cotulla to San Elizario. Rep. Hurd noted that he plans to visit all 29 counties in five days.
Rep. Hurd stressed that there is “way more that unites us” [as a country] “than divides us” with just the “hard-core fringe issues getting in the way.” He noted that the house passed 854 bills, and all but 11 were bi-partisan efforts. Rep. Hurd informed the group that things are getting done in a cooperative way, but the mainstream media is only covering the divisive issues. Rep. Hurd then went on to address a couple of the more divisive issues.
• Border Security: Rep. Hurd noted that we don’t have adequate border security, but indicated that a border fence is the most expensive but least effective way to address the issue. He stressed the need for more technology and more personnel.
• Immigration: Rep. Hurd noted that we need to streamline the legal immigration process. He noted that DACA immigrants are in a different category than other illegal immigrants who are involved in drug trafficking, terrorism activities, and human trafficking and should be handled differently.
Rep. Hurd also discussed the growing digital divide in rural communications and healthcare which creates a disconnect in our populations. He emphasized the need for teachers to be able to “prepare our kids for jobs that don’t even exist yet.” And he discussed the bipartisan Farm Bill that helps secure our food supply, provides more funding to food banks, and makes sure that farmers have a safety net in difficult times.
Rep. Hurd noted that the 23rd Congressional District is home to eight National Parks which have a backlog of maintenance issues. Bipartisan efforts have been made to improve the National Park system and to protect our amazing resources.
A very brief question and answer session was held before Rep. Hurd headed off to his next stop in Ft. Davis.