Beto O’Rourke, who is considering a 2020 presidential run, said that he would tear down the entire wall along the US-Mexico border.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes at the border Thursday night, O’Rourke responded to a tweet from current Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas, who asked, “If you could snap your fingers and make El Paso’s border wall disappear, would you?” Despite the fact that there is undeniable proof that the wall is working exactly the way President Trump has been saying walls work, O’Rourke’s immediate response was yes, “Absolutely, I’d take the wall down.”
.@BetoORourke should answer a simple question tonight with respect to the border debate:
If you could snap your fingers and make El Paso’s border wall disappear, would you?
Because this DHS graph shows that when the wall was built, illegal crossings dropped significantly. pic.twitter.com/JgquXfw2Ee
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) February 11, 2019
In response to O’Rourke saying that he would tear down the existing border wall, Donald Trump, Jr., the president’s eldest son who introduced his father at the El Paso rally earlier this week, joked on Twitter that he wants O’Rourke to run for president:
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 15, 2019
Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale wanted to know if the other Democrats running in 2020, or potentially running, support O’Rourke’s radical view of tearing down existing wall:
Curious to know if @KamalaHarris, @CoryBooker, @ewarren, @JulianCastro, @gillibrandny and @amyklobuchar agree with @BetoORourke that we should tear down the wall that already exists at the border? 🧐🤔 https://t.co/YXMPBExTsD
— Brad Parscale (@parscale) February 15, 2019
O’Rourke also told MSNBC host Chris Hayes that “walls don’t save lives.”
“Here’s what we know, after the Secure Fence Act, we have built 600 miles of wall and fencing on a 2,000-mile border. What that has done is not in any demonstrable way made us safer,” O’Rourke said. “It has cost us tens of billions of dollars to build and to maintain and it has pushed migrants and asylum seekers and refugees to the most inhospitable, the most hostile stretches of the U.S-Mexico border.”
“It’s perverse, the response that we have to legitimate concerns and problems, international terrorism, which was orchestrated in Afghanistan by al Qaeda, carried out by people from Saudi Arabia, we punish people from Mexico at the U.S.-Mexico border, deport in one year alone 400,000 Mexican nationals from this country from a response to 9/11,” O’Rourke said. “We wall off 600 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. Precisely zero terrorists or terrorist organizations have ever used the border to attack a single American.”
Republicans used O’Rourke’s comments as evidence for their claim that Democrats support open borders.
Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas, responded by lauding O’Rourke’s comments, saying, “At least Beto is honest about his open border policy.”
At least Beto is honest about his open border policy. Most Dems claim to support a secure border while simultaneously undermining it at every turn.
Should also note: El Paso mayor stated “The fence has worked.” Residents have “stated that they felt more secure with the fence.” https://t.co/YbDji8dCHa
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) February 15, 2019
“Most Dems claim to support a secure border while simultaneously undermining it at every turn,” he added in a tweet. “Should also note: El Paso mayor stated ‘The fence has worked.’ Residents have ‘stated that they felt more secure with the fence.”
Crenshaw went on to hit back at O’Rourke with facts from DHS shown in graphs that the border wall has had significant positive impact on illegal border crossings.
Crenshaw tweeted: For all the critics trying to find ANY other explanation for why El Paso’s illegal crossings dropped after building a fence, how do you explain these graphs? How do you explain what we see in Brownsville, where fencing dramatically reduces crossings?
For all the critics trying to find ANY other explanation for why El Paso’s illegal crossings dropped after building a fence, how do you explain these graphs? How do you explain what we see in Brownsville, where fencing dramatically reduces crossings? pic.twitter.com/I3QQ7aEHDD
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) February 12, 2019
“Give Beto O’Rourke points for honesty: he admits that he wants to tear down existing border walls & have totally open borders,” Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton wrote on Twitter. “At least he’ll say what most Democrat politicians believe.”
“So he wants to make illegal immigration, human trafficking, and drug smuggling easier?” Texas Sen. John Cornyn said.
Give Beto O’Rourke points for honesty: he admits that he wants to tear down existing border walls & have totally open borders. At least he’ll say what most Democrat politicians believe. https://t.co/h8Qojyp7gG
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) February 15, 2019