By Dan Nowicki | The Republic
West Valley congressional contenders Debbie Lesko and Hiral Tipirneni offered competing visions for border security Friday, with the Republican and Democratic candidates coming down on different sides of President Donald Trump’s border-wall project.
Lesko, the Republican seeking Arizona’s vacant 8th Congressional Districts seat, said she believes Congress should provide the full $25 billion Trump wants to fulfill his 2016 presidential campaign promise of a physical wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Lesko cited drug- and human-trafficking as necessitating a wall and said border barriers in the San Diego area have demonstrated the effectiveness of walls.
“The constituents in my district want a secure border. They want a border wall, they want more border agents, better technology and they want to know who’s coming across the border,” Lesko, a former state senator from Peoria, said in a debate taped for 12 News’ “Sunday Square Off” program. “They want to be safe.”
But Tipirneni, the Democrat aiming to replace disgraced former Rep. Trent Franks, argued that a border wall would only give the illusion of safety.
“I understand it makes people feel safer. It doesn’t make anybody safer, and, instead of fear-mongering, let’s talk about the facts,” Tipirneni, a physician, said. “The facts are the drugs don’t come … over that border, they come through the ports of entry, the legal ports of entry. Could be in a car right behind you when you’re coming back from Rocky Point.”