Exclusive | Congresswoman Monica De La Cruz: "Hispanics are harmed by the open borders policy just like any other Americans"

The representative from Texas was chosen by the Republican Party to deliver the State of the Union response in Spanish.

Following her spectacular victory in the Republican congressional primary on Super Tuesday, Monica de la Cruz , representative of Texas' 15th Congressional District, confirmed that she is a rising Republican star .

Granddaughter of a Mexican farm worker, she grew up with her single mother in Brownsville, Texas. Before fully entering public life, De la Cruz attended the University of Texas at San Antonio, where she graduated with a degree in Business Administration in 1997, before having a successful career as an entrepreneur and businesswoman for more than 20 years .

After graduating in San Antonio, the now representative made a vital decision in her life: enroll in the National Autonomous University of Mexico to study Spanish. Now, in 2024, these studies make great sense not only because they embrace his Hispanic roots, essential throughout his political career, but because it is the one designated by the Republican Party to respond to Joe Biden's speech at the State of the Union in Spanish, a designation that highlights the importance of De La Cruz in Congress, despite being a legislator who has just faced her first year in office.

De La Cruz arrived in Congress at the end of 2022, in the midterms, where together with Mayra Flores and Cassy García she was part of a triad of Republican women who challenged the Democrats in historically blue districts due to their high Hispanic demographics.

For various reasons, García and Flores fell. However, against the odds, De La Cruz beat his Democratic opponent, Michelle Vallejo, by more than 20,000 votes , winning a seat that had been blue for more than a century.

In this way, De La Cruz became the first Latina and the first Republican to represent Texas' 15th Congressional District in the House of Representatives, a seat she plans to keep next November, when Michelle Vallejo challenges her again.

In an interview with Voz Media , De La Cruz revealed several details of what his life as a congressman has been like , highlighting the importance and impact that public service represents in people's lives; and also the complexities of Washington DC itself.

“My first year in Congress has undoubtedly been an enlightening experience. Washington is complex: yes, it is the madness that people see on television, but there is also a more nuanced reality,” explains De La Cruz. “The truth is that most of my colleagues are genuinely committed to serving their constituents. “We focus on creating impactful policies, collaborate with our committees, and directly address the needs of the people we represent.”

“Maybe negotiating a water treaty, working to expand pharmaceutical benefits and helping a grandma find her Social Security check may not make national news, but this is the kind of crucial work I focus on because it impacts the lives of people.” many,” adds the congresswoman, who also dares to criticize the congressmen who “They are more focused on seeking personal fame than on public service.”

“I think this contributes to the madness that overshadows our hard work,” he laments. “Public service is not a soap opera. If you are in a position to serve, you should focus on improving people's lives. “This past year has been a powerful reminder of the importance of staying true to that mission in the midst of many distractions.”

The Hispanic Mónica De La Cruz, representative of Texas, will respond in Spanish to Biden's speech at the State of the Union
Representative Mónica de la Cruz (R-TX). (AFP)

Likewise, during the conversation, De La Cruz details that public service, in addition to being a blessing, is a challenge in itself . She highlights, for example, that she must sacrifice valuable time with her family and children to fulfill her obligations. A time that, without a doubt, he misses.

“Being both a congressman and a single mother is a great challenge. Thank God, I am blessed to have support, including my children's father and grandparents, who are a great help," said De La Cruz, who stressed that the most important job, in addition to dedicating oneself to public service, is being mother.

“Serving in Congress is an incredible honor, and I am blessed to be able to make a difference in the lives of so many people. But yes, of course, I miss my family, my friends and my community when I'm not at home,” the congresswoman continued. “I especially miss making breakfast tacos for my kids in the mornings and hearing about their plans for the day. Public service is a sacrifice, but it is ultimately worth it because I love our country.”

De La Cruz must maintain several challenges this year. In addition to her work in DC, she has the obligation to defend her seat against Vallejo, who also had a good primary election for the Democratic Party, but the representative feels she is in a good position to defend her seat in the House .

“I look forward to a lively race and the opportunity to ask for my community's vote. My main priorities are to defend the American Dream, secure the border and protect the benefits of our grandparents,” said De La Cruz, who highlights his record in protecting the border in the midst of a migration crisis that advances relentlessly along the southern border. , and also its contribution to safeguarding the health benefits of senior citizens.

“I have co-sponsored legislation to protect our Border Patrol agents, supported the historic Secure the Border Act, and combated fentanyl to address the crisis at the border,” noted the congresswoman. who questioned Democrats for calling Republicans who care about border security “racist”.

“I am the granddaughter of Mexican farmers and I am from Hidalgo County, which is more than 90% Hispanic. No one would think that my children and I are not Hispanic, and we are very proud of our heritage. So this whole notion that border security concerns are somehow anti-immigrant or racist is itself racist,” De La Cruz says confidently. “Democrats think that just because we are Hispanic, we don't care about the laws of this country and we don't care about having secure borders. This is not only false, it is deeply ignorant. “Hispanics are harmed by open border policies just like any other American.”

Finally, consulted about the legal dispute between Texas and the federal government, which in the last year opened different fronts to protect the border, De La Cruz gave the right to Governor Greg Abbott criticizing the Biden Administration for failing to fulfill its role in addressing the border crisis.

“Would you like this to be handled by the federal government? Yes, that would be my preference. But Texas is taking responsibility because the Biden Administration has abdicated its responsibility to secure the border,” De La Cruz told Voz Media . “According to the Constitution, border security is the responsibility of the federal government. “If the Biden administration took this issue seriously, Texas officials could focus on local issues.”

And he stated: “This was completely avoidable. We know this because President Biden's decision to roll back effective border security policies has led to an unprecedented surge in illegal immigration. This is what has put Texas in the untenable position of having to manage this crisis.”