Texas Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who is the presumed nominee to face GOP incumbent Senator Ted Cruz, told CNN’s David Gregory that we do not need to send troops to the border and that we don’t need a border wall.
O’Rourke, who is running for the Senate against incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz (R.), argued that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) do not understand the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border. Asked whether there is enough need for border security that he would support some funding for a wall, O’Rourke said there is not, and he chided Schumer and Pelosi for failing to understand the situation in Texas.
“Do you support the leadership of your party, and do you recognize that need for some enhanced wall?” CNN’s David Gregory asked.
“I don’t, and with all due respect to Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, neither of them understand Texas nor do they understand the U.S.-Mexico border,” O’Rourke said. “We do not need walls.”
Congress passed an omnibus budget deal last month that apportioned $1.6 billion to border security, and $1.3 billion will go toward barrier construction. O’Rourke criticized the idea of a border wall for being impractical and inconvenient for Texas landowners.
“Those walls will be built on the private land of our fellow Texans here on ranches, on farms, on homesteads,” he said. “We’ll have to use eminent domain to build a wall miles into the interior of the United States at a time that we don’t need it [and when] every single expert who has looked at this issue says it will not do what it’s intended to do.”
O’Rourke added that immigration reform should “reflect our values,” pointing to Texas’ ethnic diversity.
“Instead, we need to fix our immigration laws and make sure that those laws reflect our values, our interests, and look like Texas, the most diverse state,” he said.
Immigration reform that reflects “our values” would include the stipulation that everyone who comes here must do so legally. We are a nation of laws first and foremost — a value that O’Rourke apparently doesn’t think important.
Can he get away with this in Texas? Almost certainly not. The problems in Texas are not related to “diversity.” The problems are drug gangs, criminals, and others streaming into Texas at will, committing crimes and putting a massive strain on public resources. The Texas National Guard just announced they are sending 250 troops to guard the border, which is a pretty good indication of the severity of the problem — a problem that the probable Democratic candidate for the Senate doesn’t see.