Congressman Silvestre Reyes has just been defeated in a primary, apparently for not being pro-immigration enough. Reyes, a Democratc, was defeated by El Paso councilman Beto O'Rourke. Beto is acutally Irish, and his name is Robert, not Roberto, but he's assimilating. Reyes was a Border Patrol Sector chief before getting elected to Congress.
In the 90s, Reyes was something of a hero to immigration restrictionists—in Alien Nation, [PDF] Peter Brimelow wrote (P. 238)
In late 1993, El Paso Border Patrol sector chief Silvestre Reyes organized "Operation Blockade," deploying as many of his agents as possible right on the border around the clock. The aim was to deter illegals from entering, rather than intercepting them after entry—the standard Border Patrol procedure, whether to economize on force or because only big apprehension numbers scare money out of Congress.
It worked. Apprehensions, a proxy for illegal border crossings, fell by three quarters or more. Crimes in which illegal immigrants specialize also fell—fell—auto theft was down by half. To Hispanic critics,
Reyes responded memorably:"Are we supposed to be less American because we are Hispanic? I don't think so. I've fought for this country. I've committed my career to controlling its borders."
Silvestre Reyes quoted in Daniel James, "El Paso Shows How to Defend the Line," Human Events, February 11,1994,10-11.
Notwithstanding that, he had an F rating from NumbersUSA.
Fox News Latino says about the O'Rourke victory that
The importance to the border region in this contest was steeped in O'Rourke's platform of exploring methods to expedite the arduous journey across the border, especially for commercial traffic which has a profound impact on the El Paso economy. O'Rourke said he would like to see a new bridge constructed linking El Paso to Ciudad Juarez to further improve both local economies.
"We have a 10 percent unemployment rate in El Paso, that's more than 30,000 people not working," he said.
Beto O'Rourke's father-in-law is El Paso real estate investor Bill Sanders, whom the New York Tmes calls "one of the most influential figures in a region ruled by mercantile interests.".
In 2005, Beto sponsored an anti-Minuteman resolution in El Paso city council. He also made a speech to the El Paso Chamber of Commerce saying, as is usual, that "Congress has failed to produce any kind of comprehensive immigration reform."
Congress hasn't failed, the congressmen changed their minds, after their constituents explained to the them that if they passed amnesty, they (the congressmen) would have to find new jobs.
However, the El Paso Democratic primary voters feel differently from the rest of Americans. Why is that?