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Border & Immigration

Rep. Duncan Hunter Visits Border Ahead Of Election

Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter holds a press conference outlining his position on border security in San Diego on November 1, 2018
Priya Sridhar
Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter holds a press conference outlining his position on border security in San Diego on November 1, 2018

Representative Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, visited the border Thursday for a news conference to outline his position on border security.

Hunter said he sent a letter to President Donald Trump saying the troops deployed to stop the migrant caravan should build a road to help border patrol enforce immigration laws.

"With the military on its way to the border right now, now is the time to strike and start building the border road. It will save America billions of dollars, it will save man hours and time and we will get a jump start on the border wall," he said.

Hunter arrived to the news conference with Diane Harkey, Republican candidate for Congress from the 49th district, and Juan Hidalgo, Republican candidate for Congress from the 51st district. Despite running for re-election for his own 50th district seat, Hunter said the news conference was not a campaign event.

"We’re not talking about campaign stuff right now. We have an army of migrants marching down toward the U.S. from multiple third world countries," he said.

He also said he wants more detention facilities to be built for asylum seekers awaiting their court date.

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"We need to have the military build detention facilities on the border, where we keep the people there until their cases can be adjudicated. And we ought to ship in judges and lawyers to those detention facilities to do it as fast as possible so we can start sending people home who don’t belong here," he said.

With days until the election, Hunter has been sending out mailers showing his position on immigration versus that of his opponent, Democratic candidate Ammar Campar-Najjar. In a phone interview, Campar-Najjar said using the caravan is a political stunt and that Hunter's claims that he wants an open border and amnesty are false.

"I’ve always been strong about my views on having to make sure that we strengthen our ports of entry so we know who or what is coming in. That’s true about every part of our border," Campar-Najjar said.

Campa-Najjar says he thinks it's too early to send the military to the border and that the president should re-assess once the caravan gets closer. He says he doesn't believe that asylum seekers should wait for their court dates in detention facilities.

VIDEO: Rep. Duncan Hunter Visits Border Ahead Of Election
Rep. Duncan Hunter Visits Border Ahead Of Election
Representative Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, visited the border Thursday to outline his position on border security.