Veronica Escobar was born on September 15, 1969 in El Paso, Texas, where she has continued to reside ever since. She graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature, and then obtained a master’s degree in that same field from New York University in 1993.
From 2001 to 2003, she served as Communications Director for the city of El Paso’s Democrat mayor, Raymond Caballero. During her tenure in the Caballero administration, Escobar became a political ally of Beto O’Rourke, who would later represent Texas’s 16th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2013-2019. Along with other young, emerging El Paso political figures like school board member Susie Byrd and attorney/mayoral candidate Steve Ortega, Escobar and O’Rourke earned themselves the moniker of “The Progressives” in the early 2000s.
Escobar subsequently worked as an Executive Director for a left-wing nonprofit organization called Community Scholars, which taught high-school students how to craft and research public policy reports.
She returned to the public sector in 2007 as the El Paso County Commissioner, before serving as an El Paso County Judge from 2011 to 2017.
When Beto O’Rourke ran for the U.S. Senate in 2018, Escobar ran as a Democratic candidate for O’Rourke’s vacated 16th Congressional District seat in the House. Among the key planks of her platform were:
In the November 2018 election, Escobar won 68.5% of the vote in her heavily Democratic district. Among the notable endorsers of her campaign were: Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, the Progressive Democrats of America, Our Revolution, National Nurses United (affiliated with the Democratic Socialists of America), Demand Universal Healthcare, Democracy for America, EMILY’s List, the Latino Victory Fund, and NARAL Pro-Choice America.
In 2018 as well, Escobar was a staunch supporter of Beto O’Rourke’s failed U.S. Senate bid. She characterized O’Rourke, a proponent of open-border policies and a denier of the notion that there was a crisis of security at America’s southern border, as someone who would “finally tell the truth about the border.” Following O’Rourke’s defeat in 2018, Escobar urged him to mount a 2020 run for president, deeming him the type of “credible public servant that our country has been longing for.”
In a November 18, 2018 appearance on MSNBC, Congresswoman-elect Escobar said of the city of El Paso: “We are right on the U.S./Mexico border, so my community has been on the front lines of [migrant] family separations, we’ve been witnesses to the family separations, we’ve been witnesses to customs border protection agents preventing asylum seekers from stepping foot on American soil, and we have been on the front lines of wrapping our arms around refugees who need support and help, a place to stay, a meal to eat. So, we are a very, very compassionate community, a community made up of immigrants, a community that understands we are the new Ellis Island.”
Escobar was a vocal opponent of President Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, which required individuals traveling northward through Mexico and seeking asylum in the U.S. without proper documentation, to remain in Mexico while waiting for their asylum hearings in America to eventually make their way onto the court calendar. According to a July 2019 report in The Washington Examiner, Escobar was “sending staff to Mexico’s northern border town of Ciudad Juárez to find migrants returned from El Paso, Texas, under the ‘remain in Mexico’ policy, then coaching them to pretend they [could] not speak Spanish [in order] to exploit a loophole letting them … return to the U.S.”
Strongly opposed to President Trump’s call for the construction of a wall along America’s southern border with Mexico, Escobar in August 2020 stated: “Border walls have never been a solution. They are a waste of taxpayer money, an environmental disaster, and a symbol of division and hate.” She further alleged that President Trump was advancing an “erroneous national security and immigration narrative” in pursuit of the “cruelest anti-immigrant and xenophobic policies.”
In September 2020, Escobar joined fellow Congressional Democrats, including then-senator Kamala Harris, in sending a bicameral letter urging the Chairpersons and Ranking Members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees to preserve “military diversity and inclusion provisions” in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021. Among the provisions that Escobar supported were the following:
In March 2021, Escobar accused Texas’ Republican Governor Greg Abbott of racism when he complained that President Joe Biden‘s administration was not testing illegal migrants at the border for COVID-19 infection. “The idea of immigrants bringing disease, that is an old, racist trope intended to inspire fear and hatred,” said Escobar. “He’s done it before. It is absolutely reprehensible.”
That same month, Escobar said: “Part of why I bristle at the insistence by Republicans to say there’s a crisis at the border is because they want to ignore the context around it…. The real crisis is what’s happening in the Northern Triangle. The real crisis is what happens to these families and vulnerable souls in the journey northward.”
In March 2021 as well, Escobar authored a New York Times op-ed piece in which she advanced the Democrat narrative that the recent surge in migrants flooding across America’s southern border had little to do with the policies of President Biden. She also reaffirmed her support for “the American Dream and Promise Act as well as other measures that would create a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, those granted temporary protected status for humanitarian reasons, and agricultural workers and their families.” “We must stop treating vulnerable children and families like a national security threat,” Escobar asserted, adding that “we need to reimagine the infrastructure where families and children are processed.”
In May 2021, Escobar joined Representatives Adriano de Jesus Espaillat and Sylvia Garcia in reintroducing the Homeland Security Improvement Act. Emphasizing the need to “modernize our immigration system and right the wrongs of the past,” Escobar suggested that this legislation was part of her “ongoing effort to reform a system that has failed our agents, officers, border and immigrant communities, and the vulnerable souls arriving at our nation’s front door.” Filled with numerous provisions to overhaul the Department of Homeland Security with leftwing immigration policies, the bill was endorsed by the Border Network for Human Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union.
In June 2021, Escobar praised the Biden administration for its lenient immigration and border-security policies. “It starts with addressing root causes,” she said. “We’ve also got to open up legal pathways. When we shut down legal pathways, we shouldn’t be shocked that people seek undocumented, irregular pathways. We’ve got to address the way that we greet people at our nation’s front door.” By contrast, Escobar accused Republicans of “fueling xenophobia,” describing them as “absolutely irresponsible, dangerous people with a bullhorn and a bully pulpit who are fueling hate against migrants.”
In December 2021, Escobar condemned the Biden administration’s decision to abide by U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk’s ruling on a lawsuit that had been brought jointly by Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and the state of Missouri, to reinstate the “Remain in Mexico” policy. Escobar characterized Biden’s decision as “unacceptable,” “a real disappointment,” and “a complete violation of the spirit of asylum.”
Joining more than 80 fellow House Democrats in co-sponsoring the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, Escobar claimed that this legislation represented an “important first step in addressing the cruelty and incompetence of the past and giving hard-working families that enrich our communities an opportunity to pursue the American Dream.” The bill’s “vision of immigration reform that is expansive and inclusive,” said Escobar:
In August 2019, Escobar and fellow freshman Rep. Tom Malinowski circulated a letter exhorting both the House and Senate to work with a sense of extreme urgency to pass a handful of bills, including the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act, which would, as Vice.com put it, “beef up the Justice and Homeland Security Department units responsible for addressing the threat of white supremacy-inspired domestic terrorism.”
In July 2020, Escobar sponsored an amendment (H. Amdt. 833) to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, which sought to limit President Donald Trump’s authority to deploy the U.S. military to quell the violent Black Lives Matter and Antifa riots that were sweeping the country in the summer of 2020. The amendment was co-sponsored by Representatives Ilhan Omar, David Cicilline, Pramila Jayapal, Ruben Gallego, Tony Cárdenas, Mark Pocan, Mikie Sherrill, Brenda Lawrence, Peter DeFazio, Lori Trahan, Deb Haaland, and Raul Grijalva.
When the House passed the amendment by a vote of 215 to 190, Escobar said she was “proud” that Congress had acted to limit the commander-in-chief’s ability to confront the “peaceful protestors [who] took to the streets to speak out against racial injustice and police brutality.” She also accused Trump of having “politicized our military forces and threatened to use them to violate Americans’ First Amendment right of free speech.”
Teaming up with Senator Elizabeth Warren, Escobar introduced the Department of Defense Climate Resiliency and Readiness Act of 2019. This bicameral legislation, said Escobar, would help answer the “moral imperative to meet this moment with a bold climate action plan to reduce carbon pollution, create much-needed jobs to rebuild our economy, and tackle the systemic injustice of environmental racism head-on.”
Aligning with climate change alarmists in her own party, Escobar joined Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey in reintroducing the Green New Deal Resolution in April 2021. “I am proud to be an original co-sponsor of the Green New Deal resolution to protect our environment, create millions of green jobs, and counteract systemic injustices in low-income communities and communities of color,” said Escobar.
In July 2021, Escobar said that unless federal voting legislation was passed to combat “extreme gerrymandering” by Republican political leaders in Texas and other red states, “we are going to lose our democracy.”
A self-identified Catholic, Escobar has been in strong opposition to Church teaching on the issue of abortion. Joining Rep. Ayanna Pressley and other congressional Democrats, Escobar co-sponsored the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021 which was designed, as Escobar said in a September 2, 2021 press release, “to guarantee equal access to abortion, everywhere.”
In September 2021 as well, Escobar condemned the Supreme Court’s refusal to block what she called the “extreme, restrictive anti-abortion law” known as the Texas Heartbeat Act, a state law that prohibited most abortions after a fetal heartbeat could be detected via ultrasound — i.e., roughly six weeks gestation. In response to the Court’s refusal, Escobar advocated for: (a) packing the Supreme Court with several additional leftwing, pro-abortion Justices, and (b) eliminating the Senate filibuster in order to help grease the skids for the advancement of pro-abortion policies and other Democrat agenda items.
On July 19, 2022, Escobar was one of at least 17 House Democrats who were arrested outside the Supreme Court building in Washington, where they were attending an abortion-rights rally to protest the Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Those arrested included the following:
For an overview of Escobar’s positions on an array of key political issues, click here.