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Congressional candidates weigh in on migrant caravan headed to US border

SAN ANTONIO – A migrant caravan is currently more than 1,000 miles from the southern U.S. border and moving slowly. What route they'll take and where they'll end up is speculation at this point, but with the 23rd Congressional District spanning hundreds of miles along the border, candidates up for election in that district are weighing in.

"The United States and our allies should be able to defend our border, plain and simple. The caravan is a manifestation of a broader problem, and that problem is a lack of economic opportunities in the Northern Triangle and violence in the Northern Triangle," said Will Hurd, the Republican U.S. representative for the 23rd Congressional District, who is up for re-election.

The Northern Triangle refers to the Central American countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

The caravan left Honduras on Oct. 12, and President Donald Trump and his administration are looking at all options to restrict or block their entry into the country.

The president also mentioned sealing the border and deploying troops, a solution that worries Democratic candidate Gina Ortiz Jones, who is running for the 23rd Congressional District seat.

"As a veteran, I'm very concerned that we are reassigning service members from their actual missions and moving them to the southern border," Ortiz Jones said.

Ortiz Jones and Hurd said diplomacy is a must.

"First, priority is always going to be the safety of American families, and that ensures making sure our Border Patrol agents have the resources they need to secure our border," Ortiz Jones said.

Hurd believes sending troops is a sign that more Border Patrol agents are needed.

"We don't have enough men and women in Border Patrol. There's 2,000 positions in Border Patrol that are unfilled," Hurd said.

The incumbent and the candidate agree that working with the U.S.'s allies to fix the issue is a priority and that being proactive in addressing the issue will take time.