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2nd Congressional District: Caroleene Dobson calls for action on U.S.-Mexico border


2nd Congressional District: Caroleene Dobson calls for action on U.S.-Mexico border

Feb 26, 2024 | 7:57 am ET
By Alander Rocha
2nd Congressional District: Caroleene Dobson calls for action on U.S.-Mexico border
Caroleene Dobson is a Republican candidate for the 2nd Congressional District. (Courtesy Caroleene Dobson for Congress)

This is the last in a series of profiles of candidates in Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District. Read the profiles here.

Real estate attorney Caroleene Dobson said the border needs to be addressed “right now.”

A Republican candidate for Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District primary, Dobson, like other GOP candidates in the race, is focused on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Dobson said that the U.S. can’t sustain the current migration influx on the U.S.-Mexico border, and that the system needs a total overhaul.

“Just the number of folks that are flooding across — while I empathize with anyone wanting to seek a better future for their families, our country, our social security is bankrupt,” she said.

Caroleene Dobson

Age: 37

Residence: Montgomery

Occupation: Real estate attorney

Education: A.B., History and Literature, Harvard College, 2009; J.D., Baylor University School of Law, 2012.

Party: Republican

Previous political experience/campaign: First-time political candidate.

Dobson said that on top of preventing unauthorized border crossings, the federal government also should overhaul farm-migrant work-visa programs, which she described as “overly bureaucratic.”

“On the one hand, the borders are flung open in the southern United States, but then on the other hand, folks that are wanting to come here to work, there’s too much red tape, both for them and for their employers,” Dobson said.

The new district was formed after a federal court last October approved a new map putting most of the southern Black Belt in the district and making the Black Voting Age Population (BVAP) there about 49% Black. The court ruled that an earlier map approved by the Alabama Legislature unconstitutionally packed Black voters into a single district.

With the new maps approved, Dobson said that since it seemed it was going to be an open seat, she and her husband discussed her potential candidacy. When the deadline was nearing and no candidate had qualified yet, she said that she “decided to step up,” and was the first Republican candidate to qualify.

With Alabama’s racially-polarized voting, the district is expected to lean Democratic. But Dobson said it can remain in Republican’s hands if they get their message across.

“A Republican definitely has a chance of prevailing if they can get out and persuade folks that we need to do something different and government is not the solution to all of our problems — often it can get in the way of solutions,” she said.

Dobson also said the U.S. needs to become energy independent. While the U.S. exports more energy than it imports, it still relies on foreign oil to meet its energy needs. She said the U.S. pays other economies for non-renewable resources instead of tapping into its own.

“We’ve got to also utilize our non-renewable resources that we have here in abundance in order to be totally energy independent, so that the cost of goods goes down and then that will foster economic growth,” she said, adding that eventually, it could promote development of renewable resources in the future.

Dobson said federal overregulation also hurts farmers. She used an Obama-era regulation that would have required farms to report the amount of hazardous substances, such as ammonia, released by their livestock. Agriculture causes about 81% of global ammonia emissions, and accounts for about 30% of PM2.5 pollution in the U.S., or particles 2.5 micrometers or smaller that cause chronic respiratory illnesses and can lead to premature mortality.

“[It’s] just overly cumbersome and impossible to have calculated, and a lot of that is based in ignorance. Regulations are promulgated, and there’s no carve out for agriculture because people are just not thinking about our food producers,” she said.

18 candidates – 11 Democrats and seven Republicans – are running for the 2nd Congressional District seat. The Democratic candidates are:

At least seven Republicans are vying for the seat. Qualified candidates are: