A Democratic gubernatorial candidate for Arizona asked an audience at a liberal event to imagine a future without a border wall on Saturday, adding to prior statements the candidate made in support of loosening border security.
“I want to just take a second and imagine. Let’s just imagine … Just imagine no wall. No wall in southern Arizona,” David Garcia said as he was met with applause and cheers from the audience.
Garcia spoke at the 2018 Netroots Nation gathering in New Orleans, held from Aug. 2 to Aug. 4. It is the largest annual gathering of progressives, according to Netroots’ Twitter description.
This was not the first time Garcia supported an anti-border agenda.
Garcia did not want the National Guard at Arizona’s border during family separation under President Donald Trump’s zero tolerance policy to halt illegal immigration, according to an interview on KJZZ’s radio program, “The Show” on June 22.
He also called for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to be replaced with an “immigration system that works,” during the Democratic candidates’ debate, hosted by PBS Arizona on July 31, according to The Arizona Republic. He didn’t provide a specific solution.
Garcia wanted a system that allowed for security but also legal entry for those ready to contribute to the state and country while also being a place of refuge. He also said the Arizona Border Strike Force Bureau was a ploy to “use immigration to as a political tool to continue to provide fear.”
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, started the strike force in September 2015 to stop transnational criminal activities from entering the state, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety. The strike force interdicted more than 2,000 pounds of marijuana and 89 pounds of methamphetamine, and incarcerated more 60 suspects for transporting illegal drugs.
Garcia is one of three democratic candidates vying for Ducey’s position. He is an associate professor at Arizona State University who teaches education.
He previously ran for state Superintendent of Public Instruction, but fell short to Republican Diane Douglas in the 2014 race.
Garcia’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.