Duncan Hunter, Ammar Campa-Najjar spar over migrant caravan

SAN DIEGO -- An hour before President Donald Trump’s immigration speech Thursday, Rep. Duncan Hunter, (R-Alpine), unveiled his proposal for the president to make use of troops recently dispatched to the southern border.

Hunter’s proposal, revealed at a news conference alongside congressional hopeful Diane Harkey, is the latest in an ever-growing Republican effort to focus on immigration and border related issues in the week before the election, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

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“Right now we have an army of migrants bearing down on the U.S. from multiple Third World countries,” Hunter told reporters. “The president has finally directed the military to the border and building a foundational border road is the most important thing they can be doing outside of assisting Border Patrol on their apprehensions.”

In a letter sent to the president Thursday, Hunter specifically highlights using military engineering units to begin building miles of foundational road while troops are stationed on the border. These roads are used by Border Patrol agents so they can quickly cover terrain as they patrol the southwestern border.

Speaking to FOX 5 by phone Thursday evening, Hunter's Democratic challenger, Ammar Campa-Najjar, said Hunter's press conference appeared more aimed at riling up voters than influencing policy.

"This is clearly a political stunt," Campa-Najjar said of his opponent's border press conference. "We could use that border road, it will ease the work of border patrol agents, but there's too much conflating going on. That doesn't have anything to do necessarily with the wall, or with the caravan. I think there's a lot of tough talk going on."

"This caravan is in the southern tip of Mexico. They're a month away from getting here. They'll probably splinter, they already have, and might even dissipate before they even get to our border," the Democrat said of fears over the migrant caravan's arrival.

"Let's hold off and have a measured response ... if and when they ever make it here."

Voters will choose one of the two men to represent California's 50th Congressional District when they vote in the Nov. 6 midterm election.