Home » Democrat in crucial Senate race under fire for past amnesty, sanctuary city ‘support’ as border crisis spirals

Democrat in crucial Senate race under fire for past amnesty, sanctuary city ‘support’ as border crisis spirals

by John Jefferson
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The likely Democrat nominee — in what is expected to be one of the most consequential Senate races this year — is taking heat over his past “support” for illegal immigrant amnesty and sanctuary cities as the migrant crisis continues to spiral.

Since taking office in 2015, Arizona Senate candidate Ruben Gallego, a congressman who represents a deep-blue district in the Phoenix area, has co-sponsored and voted for various pieces of legislation that many critics, including his top Republican opponent, have said are evidence of his support for “open border policies,” something his campaign denies.

“Ruben Gallego has been in Congress for over a decade and Arizona has become less safe and secure because of it,” Kari Lake, the Republican front-runner in the race, told Fox News Digital.


“He repeatedly voted against finishing the border wall, supported ending Title 42, which allowed the border patrol to quickly expel migrants, has done nothing to stop the cartels from bringing crime and drugs into our communities,” Lake added. “Arizonans know Ruben has rubber-stamped all of Joe Biden’s open border policies. I will work to secure the border and bring safety to our communities.”

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), the group tasked with winning a Senate majority for the GOP, has also taken aim at Gallego, placing blame on him and his Democrat colleagues for the current state of the border.

“Ruben Gallego has spent his career in Congress backing the radical open-border policies that created the crisis on our southern border today. Ruben might have just noticed that the border is out of control, but he shouldn’t be surprised; he’s responsible for it,” NRSC spokesman Tate Mitchell told Fox.


Some of the legislation driving the criticism of Gallego includes H.R. 748, a 2017 bill he co-sponsored that would have banned the withholding of federal funds from sanctuary cities and states that refuse to comply with detainer requests from homeland security officials, or notifying officials when an individual being held on a detainer is released.

Republican Arizona Senate candidate Kari Lake

In 2018, Gallego co-sponsored H.R. 6193, a bill that would have required the federal government to establish an office dedicated to the study of crimes committed against illegal immigrants in the year following their removal from the U.S., and in 2021, he voted for the failed Build Back Better Act, which, in its original form, would have granted temporary amnesty to roughly 6.5 million people non-citizens, many of whom were in the country illegally, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Also in 2021, Gallego introduced H.R. 4815, a bill that would have made DACA recipients, also known as “Dreamers,” eligible for federal financial college aide, and required schools to offer them in-state tuition rates if they qualified as a citizen of that state.


Additionally, Gallego has supported due process for illegal immigrants in opposition to border policies under the Trump administration, and has been a sharp critic of Title 42, a policy ended by the Biden administration that allowed U.S. officials to turn away migrants attempting to enter the country because of health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Rep. Gallego has a long record of supporting additional resources to the border to keep Arizonans safe, and he supports the bipartisan border bill to secure the border and stop the flow of fentanyl into our country,” Gallego campaign spokeswoman Hannah Goss told Fox News Digital, referencing the controversial bipartisan Senate border deal being largely opposed by Republicans in both houses of Congress.

Democrat Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego

“Kari Lake rejected a bipartisan border deal — backed by border patrol agents and called the ‘most conservative border bill in decades’ — because she puts scoring political points ahead of standing up for Arizonans every single time,” Goss added.

Despite his support of the previously mentioned legislation, Gallego has also voted in favor of a number of bills, including the Biden administration’s massive 2021 infrastructure bill, that provided funds to construct and modernize land ports of entry and other equipment at the border, as well as provided funding to hire more Border Patrol agents and officers to handle skyrocketing asylum claims — something he has strongly supported.

Fox News Digital has reached out to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for comment.

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.

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