Texas Rep. Veronica Escobar was on Wednesday elected by her colleagues as the newest member of the House Democratic leadership team, a new role that will have her “join weekly leadership meetings, helping to shape the Democratic Caucus’ strategy on key issues,” Politico reports.
Her voice will be invaluable in the face of a diverse Democratic Party: since her election to the House in 2018, Escobar has become a respected leader on immigration policy, and a compassionate defender of immigrant and Latino families under siege by the Trump administration. “One senior Democratic staff member noted that when Escobar speaks at caucus meetings, the room goes silent,” The Washington Post reported in August.
Following the white supremacist terror attack that killed 22 in El Paso, Texas, this past summer, Escobar also became a comforter-in-chief for devastated members of the community, and in the time after chaired a House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship field hearing on anti-immigrant rhetoric and domestic terrorism. There, she plainly and correctly stated that “anti-immigrant rhetoric is on the rise today and is inflamed by President Trump.”
Escobar also refused to meet with Trump when he decided to visit El Paso despite the fact that the white supremacist terrorist echoed his own racist, violent rhetoric. “I declined the invitation because I refuse to be an accessory to his visit,” she said at the time. “I refuse to join without a dialogue about the pain his racist and hateful words and actions have caused our community and country.”
Advocates celebrated Escobar becoming a member of the House’s leadership team, noting that “Congresswoman Escobar’s election to the Democratic House leadership is monumental for Latino representation in Congress,” Latino Victory Project said. “Since day one, Escobar established herself as a steadfast, hard-working leader in the freshman class, whose penchant for consensus-building did not go unnoticed.”