Who is Veronica Escobar? Texas rep chosen by Dems for Spanish-language response to State of the Union

The State of the Union: How it became what is today

The State of the Union is a yearly tradition now broadcast on every major broadcast and cable news channel, is nearly as old as the republic itself, but it was not always the presidential ceremonial event it is today.

Freshman Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Calif., is set to give the Democrats’ Spanish-language response to President Trump’s State of the Union address.

Escobar — who was elected in the 2018 midterm elections to fill the seat vacated by Beto O’Rourke when he challenged Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, for his spot in the Senate – is an outspoken critic of the president and his administration’s hardline immigration policies.

She represents a heavily-Latino district along Texas’ border with Mexico that includes the city of El Paso and has in the past slammed the Trump administration’s family separation policy that split up children from their parents after they illegally entered the United States.

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Earlier this year, Escobar introduced the Homeland Security Improvement Act, which is meant to bring more oversight to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection in their work detaining immigrants.

Escobar first entered politics back in 2006 when she was elected as a County Commissioner of El Paso County in 2006 and as the County Judge of El Paso County in 2010. Along with O’Rourke and former El Paso City Council member Steve Ortega, she was part of a group that the local media in Texas dubbed “The Progressives.”

With her election to the House in 2018, Escobar became the first woman to represent Texas’ 16th District and, along with Rep. Sylvia Garcia, the first Latina to represent Texas in the lower chamber of Congress.

Escobar was also elected late last year to be the special representative of the House’s freshman class, after Katie Hill of California resigned from her post.

Along with Escobar, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will give the Democrats’ rebuttal to Trump’s address.

The State of the Union address will occur on Feb. 4 at 9 p.m. ET.