Failed Texas senatorial candidate and prospective 2020 contender Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke now says he not only thinks a border wall is unnecessary and immoral, but that he actually wants to tear down border barriers that already exist in places like El Paso, Texas.
Speaking to MSNBC’s Chris Hayes down at the southern border, O’Rourke claimed the current border wall “has done is not in any demonstrable way made us safer.”
"Would you, if you could, would you take the wall down here -- knock it down?" Hayes asked.
"Yes, absolutely," O’Rourke answered. "I'd take the wall down."
O’Rourke also alleged that El Paso residents would support taking down their local border wall.
"Here's what we know. After the Secure Fence Act [of 2006], we have built 600 miles of wall and fencing on a 2,000-mile border,” he told Hayes. “What that has done is not in any demonstrable way made us safer. It's cost us tens of billions of dollars to build and maintain. And it's pushed migrants and asylum seekers and refugees to the most inhospitable, the most hostile stretches of the U.S.-Mexico border, ensuring their suffering and death."
Full clip of that Beto wall answer via @Julio_Rosas11--I can't tell if this was an ad hoc riff or a response he has given before, but I'm curious to see public polling on this. pic.twitter.com/IoR4uu4DSC— Mac McClung Fan Account (@LPDonovan) February 15, 2019
According to raw data from the Department of Homeland Security, illegal alien border crossings in El Paso dropped a full 95 percent in the two decades after the wall was constructed there in 1995. In San Diego, border crossings fell 92 percent after wall was erected in ’93, while the wall built in Yuma in 2005 saw a 95 percent drop in crossings in less than a decade.
Interestingly, O'Rourke made his comments about tearing down existing border structures after holding an anti-wall rally in Texas...surrounded by walls.