Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, still a candidate for the 2020 Democratic nomination, has been focusing lately on all the things he’d take away from America and Americans as he tries to keep his struggling campaign afloat.
He said last Thursday that “hell, yes,” he’d take away “your AR-15, your AK-47” in an effort to protect all Americans from gun violence — never mind that his proposal would mean ripping away legally purchased possessions from law-abiding citizens across the country and violate the Second Amendment.
Now he has emphasized again something he’s said earlier on the campaign trail: He wants to take down existing border walls in the El Paso, Texas, area because he says they’ve made crime “actually go up.”
“There are more than 600 miles of wall and physical barriers now along that 2,000-mile border,” O’Rourke told Latino USA’s Maria Hinojosa on Friday — barriers that are “not working.”
“In El Paso, we saw crime actually go up after the wall was constructed instead of coming down. It made us less — not more — safe. As an El Pasoan, I, for one, would want to take much of that wall down,” O’Rourke said.
However, O’Rourke also said he would defer to other communities as to whether or not they wanted to keep border walls in their cities.
“If there are other places where a physical barrier — from the community’s perspective — is necessary or helpful and it already exists, I would to defer to them,” he said — and decried Democrats for advocating for the construction of physical barriers on the southern border.
“And unfortunately it’s not just Republicans who advocated in voting for building walls here. Democrats voted for the Secure Fence Act that provided the authorization and ultimately the funding to build the walls that we have,” he also told the same outlet.
This is not the first time he’s talked about tearing down border walls. Back in February of this year, when MSNBC host Chris Hayes posed a question to him from Rep. Dan Crenshaw about whether O’Rourke would get rid of the wall if he could “snap your fingers” and make it happen, O’Rourke responded, “Yes. Absolutely. I’d take the wall down.”
He made those comments on MSNBC’s “All In” during an interview near the border, as The Hill reported at the time.
O’Rourke, who represented El Paso in Congress for three terms and then lost his bid for a Senate seat to Rep. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in a closely fought midterm battle last year, added that he believes city residents would pass a referendum to remove the wall if it were put up for a vote.
See the tweet below for the video clip in which he said this.
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) February 15, 2019
“It’s hard to make a rational case for an emergency declaration, or troops on the border or any amount of additional border walls or border fencing or steel slats,” O’Rourke also said back in February.
“The border has never been as safe and secure as it is now,” he claimed — citing data that showed El Paso’s crime rate dropped sharply in the years before a barrier was installed along the border with Mexico.
He said crime went up after the wall was constructed in 2008 — but also acknowledged it was unclear if the two were correlated.
Many of these O’Rourke claims are out-and-out wrong.
Hundreds of border crossers and illegal immigrants die every year while trying to make it across the U.S.-Mexico border rather than apply legally to be here, as Breitbart News and other outlets have reported. But President Donald Trump has actually cut the rate at which illegal aliens are dying at the border with his initiatives “to keep foreign nationals from attempting to cross in the first place.”
While nearly 3,000 border crossers and illegal aliens did perish after crossing the southern border during eight years of the Obama administration, existing physical barriers did not “produce” those deaths — as O’Rourke claimed and Breitbart pointed out.
O’Rourke is patently and purposely ignoring real gains under Trump in his latest discussion of “tearing down” border walls.
Just a little over a week ago, the president announced he’ll have a whopping 500 miles of border wall completed by the close of 2020.
There was even more good news on that front. Trump also announced that by the end of 2020, there will be a 50-percent reduction in illegal migration.