Protestors gathered outside U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions’ Dallas office in June in response to the border crisis. (Photo: William Legrone)
The upcoming race for the 32nd Congressional District seat, which includes the Park Cities, has been called a toss-up by several nonpartisan reports, with the recent immigration crisis a key issue for Republican incumbent Pete Sessions and Democratic candidate Colin Allred.
Sessions has held the seat since 2002, but the district as a whole voted for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election – a surprise for the normally-Republican area that voted for John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012.
The slow shift from red to blue in the district has many pundits predicting a close race and, in turn, a chance for Allred, the former NFL player and current civil rights attorney, to take Sessions’ seat.
At the center of the race is the country’s immigration issue, which reached a boiling point this summer when images arose of families being separated and detained at the Texas-Mexico border.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order to end the practice of children being separated from their parents at the border, but Allred has continued to push vehemently for immigration reform.
Sessions, who is also chairman of the House Rules Committee, said in June he supported Trump’s efforts to keep families together at the border while still working to address the issue.
“This is a critical situation that must be dealt with appropriately and immediately,” Sessions wrote on Twitter. “I look forward to working towards a legislative solution to address this important issue.”
On his campaign website, Allred posted an official statement regarding the border crisis, mentioning how it “hit home” with him as someone who grew up in Dallas schools that were predominantly Hispanic.
“Separating children from parents seeking asylum isn’t a partisan issue – it’s about who we are and the values we all share,” he wrote on Twitter.
Protestors gathered outside Session’s office in June to protest the treatment of people at the border. Nearly 100 residents showed up with signs and chanted.
“I think the policy itself is heartless, and an abomination for this country,” said Richard Marcus, a Dallas resident. “The photos of the children in the cages reminded me of what it probably looked like in Nazi Germany 60 years ago.”
“What they’re doing at the border is inhumane,” added Daniel Alvarado, an Oak Cliff resident. “I’m about to be 65, and I never thought we would have to put up with stuff like this in this country.”
Election Day is November 6. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.