Rising Democratic star Beto O’Rourke of Texas said Thursday that not only does he oppose President Trump’s border wall but he would rip out existing walls along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Mr. O’Rourke had been publicly asked by freshman Rep. Dan Crenshaw, Texas Republican, that if border walls are immoral or dangerous, why let the existing ones stand. MSNBC host Chris Hayes repeated the question to him Thursday.
“Yes, absolutely. I’d take the wall down,” said the former U.S. representative from El Paso, Texas, who is widely seen as a possible 2020 presidential hopeful.
Mr. O’Rourke also said El Paso residents, now benefitting from some of those wall segments, would back his stance in a referendum on whether to tear it down.
The ex-congressman, who lost a U.S. Senate bid to incumbent Republican Ted Cruz in November, said the fencing that already had been built had killed more than 4,000 illegal immigrants.
It has “pushed migrants and asylum seekers and refugees to the most inhospitable, most hostile stretches of the U.S.-Mexico border, ensuring their suffering and death. More than 4,000 human beings — little kids, women and children — have died,” Mr. O’Rourke said.
He went on to call illegal immigration a human right that is being denied by building walls in the heavily-trafficked parts of the border.
“We have walled off their opportunity … to cross in urban centers like El Paso, to be with family, to work jobs, to do what any human being should have the right to be able to do,” he said.