PHOENIX, Ariz. - As a candidate, a social activist and an attorney specialized in immigration law, the border is an important issue for Deedra Abboud.
"But it's not an issue about whether or not we have a wall; it's an issue of whether or not people who are coming across undocumented are safe. And because people in the local areas have to go out and pick up the bodies that people who don't survive there.”
RAW VIDEO: EXTENDED INTERVIEW
Abboud feels a border wall would hurt the environment and says technology would be a better way to let Border Patrol know who's crossing the border and where.
On the controversial way the government separated children from adults found crossing the border, Abboud says it's an important distinction whether the adults simple crossed illegally or if they are requesting asylum to escape danger and persecution.
She says if someone's making a legitimate asylum request it has been the norm not to detain them.
“Then what normally happens is if someone applies for asylum and their application is accepted, we give them work permit and information so that they can be in the country and support themselves while their application in going into the process.”
Abboud says government has given tax breaks to big business, when it should be making small businesses stronger.
And she says she's bringing up issues other candidates won't touch.
“They don't want to talk about the racial tensions or white supremacy. This is actually something that exists in 2018 and the fact that we haven't addressed it is why it has grown so much doesn't mean that you have to condemn people. But it means that you have to have the conversation and decide who we are, as a country."
Abboud is a Muslim. But she is not foreign born. She grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas.
"I think that my perspective is that American perspective, it's that's not that unique. My most unique perspective is that I was a civil rights and social justice advocate for 15 years in Arizona. The fact that I'm Muslim is just another piece of my identity, just like I'm a woman, but really, it's about how can I serve Arizona? How can I serve the United States? How can I move us toward having more conversations, being more connected, solving more problems, and actually being able to address things that usually make us uncomfortable?"
Now it's up to Democrats to choose between Deedra Abboud and Kyrsten Sinema to run for the Senate in November.