Sunday, April 21, 2019

In a dueling rally, O’Rourke contradicts Trump’s border claims

Last night Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) sought to counter President Trump’s claims about immigrants and border walls, arguing that his hometown of El Paso is “safe not because of walls but in spite of walls.”

“With the eyes of the country upon us, all of you together are going to make our stand in one of the safest cities in the United States of America. Safe not because of walls but in spite of walls,” O’Rourke said. “Secure because we treat one another with dignity and respect, that’s the way we make our communities and country safe.”

In the dueling rally approximately a block away from Trump’s own El Paso event, O’Rourke, who’s considering a 2020 White House run, touted the city as one of the safest in America for the past two decades. He claimed that since part of a wall was built, the city was “in fact a little less safe.”

O’Rourke didn’t say Trump’s name, but he repeatedly criticized the president for his depictions of immigrants and said that the voters must “stand against the truth against lies, hate, intolerance.” “A president describes Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals. We have the chance to tell him and the country that they commit crimes at a lower rate than Americans who are born in this country,” O’Rourke said.

Prior to the “Celebration of El Paso” rally, O’Rourke held a one-mile march with thousands of participants, and he was joined by his successor in Congress, freshman Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas). O’Rourke generated excitement among Democrats nationwide in 2018 after coming within a few points of defeating GOP Sen. Ted Cruz in deep-red Texas.

A standoff between Trump and House Democrats over the president’s demand for $5.7 billion in border wall funding led to a 35-day partial government shutdown, the longest in U.S. history that ended late January. But as Trump and O’Rourke held their respective rallies in El Paso, last night lawmakers in Washington said they reached an agreement “in principle” that would prevent a second government shutdown that’ll begin on Saturday.

THE HILL