A look at the Democratic candidates running for 16th Congressional District

District 16 race candidates (KFOX14/CBS4)

There are six Democratic candidates running to replace Beto O’Rourke in the U.S. House of Representatives.

There are plenty of issues and topics being discussed on Capitol Hill.

Things like immigration reform, DACA, the Border Wall border wall, and more recently, gun control.

CBS4 sat down with most of the candidates to discuss what they plan to do if they’re elected to take the important seat in Washington.


Candidate Jerome Tilghman feels DACA is necessary to help keep programs like Social Security intact.

"With the exception of the recent drop in the stock market, we were doing well. We were 5 percent in unemployment. Why would we destabilize an economy with those kinds of numbers by yanking 800,000 people out of the economy and no immediate way to replace them? It doesn't pass the 'makes sense' test,” Tilghman said.

Enrique Garcia is also running for the District 16 16th Congressional District seat. He wants to fix the current immigration system to help those protected by DACA.

"Doing an application system to allow people to apply directly without any of those connections, because it streamlines the process. It gives the opportunity as a government to vet these individuals to check their background to make sure they are going to be good citizens,” Garcia said.

One of the more well-known candidates in this race is former El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar.

Escobar has been vocal about DACA and immigration reform in the past. For her, DACA is a must and she hopes to have a Democratic majority in the House to ensure its survival.

"The DREAMers deserve a path to citizenship -- a permanent path. A permanent fix, rather. Instead of being used as a negotiating tool, we deserve a clean DREAM Act and families deserve to be protected as well,” Escobar said.

Former EPISD board president Dori Fenenbock is also running for the 16th Congressional District seat.

She feels people need to see first-handfirsthand the communities that are impacted by DACA.

"I don't think there are many people who don't believe we need a permanent legislative fix to DACA for DREAMers. So we can't let the Congress people in Washington leverage our children in the interest of other things like infrastructure and the wall and other things,” Fenenbock said. “So, I would advocate, come to our community, look into the eyes of these kids that live here and this is their home. Let's do the humane and compassionate thing and give them permanent residency and put them on a path to citizenship."

Fellow candidate John Carrillo feels there’s also an economic benefit to DREAMers.

"Let's look at it economically, a recent report, they estimated the DREAMers in terms of output, they produce 188$188 billion dollars a year,” Carrillo said. “In terms of income generated towards them, they produce 117$117 billion annual. Now that's a lot. Why would we want to deport people that are already producing and helping improve our economy? It doesn't make sense."

Early voting begins on Tuesday. See sample ballots and a list of early voting locations: http://bit.ly/2ojIlWm

Interviews for the Republican candidates will air Tuesday.

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