Texas Rep. Will Hurd, a Republican, is familiar with the country’s southern border; his district spans more than 800 miles of it. But when it comes to a border wall, Hurd isn’t fully on board.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Hurd, 41, denied President Trump’s claim there is a “crisis” at the border, calling it a “myth” and contending a concrete wall is a “3rd-century solution to a 21st-century problem.”
“This is an issue that has transcended multiple administrations. I think $67 billion of drugs coming into our country is a crisis. Now, I also think when you think of a crisis that means people are afraid to leave their homes, right?” Hurd told the magazine. “El Paso is one of the safest cities in the United States of America. The same can be said about Del Rio, Presidio and Eagle Pass, places I represent.”
“When I crisscross my district, the thing I hear the most, people are like, ‘We need workers.’ Whether it’s agriculture or artificial intelligence, we need workers. Why aren’t we also talking about streamlining this immigration process so that we get people here legally who are going to contribute to our economy?” he continued. “It’s a problem that needs to be solved. I think it requires us to be cool, level-headed and talk about these solutions.”
“A wall from sea to shining sea is the most expensive and least effective way to do border security.”
Hurd’s remarks come as the government has remained partially shuttered for nearly a month with Trump and Democrats at an impasse over funding for a border wall. Trump has demanded more than $5 billion for the oft-repeated campaign promise.
But Hurd, who has represented Texas’ 23rd district since 2015, isn’t a fan of a border wall. He was one of only a handful of Republicans who joined his colleagues across the aisle in voting for a plan to reopen the government without Trump’s border wall funding.
“A wall from sea to shining sea is the most expensive and least effective way to do border security,” he previously told The New York Times.
“Let’s make sure we’re using the right tool in the right place. We should be thinking about all these different technologies and how they should be used, and when I describe this, nobody disagrees,” Hurd said.
Hurd also recently called out some fellow Republicans who “have made racist comments that give legitimacy to hateful ideologies” in a recent op-ed. He praised the House Republican Conference for taking “quick, decisive and necessary action to repudiate the most recent remarks” of Iowa GOP Rep. Steve King.
“As a Republican, I believe it’s unfortunate that a perception still exists in the minds of some Americans that the GOP condones racism,” Hurd wrote. “Sadly, some people affiliated with our party have made racist comments that give legitimacy to hateful ideologies. However, my [positive mental attitude] forces me to believe we can change this perception through actions.”